Wall spoke at length about Irving's situation.
Lost amid the ruckus caused by Kyrie Irving's trade request on the same day, John Wall agreed to an extension with the Wizards that will keep him in Washington through the 2022-23 season.
Wall has never been to the conference finals, while Irving and the Cavs have played in three straight finals—advantage, Kyrie. But Wall is the unquestioned leader of the Wizards, a title Irving would never hold in Cleveland as long as some fellow named LeBron is around. So, which situation is preferable? The answer is far more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Wall addressed the two star point guards' differing situations after a press conference held to announce his extension.
"That was crazy to me. I didn't know that was happening at all," Wall said of the timing of Irving's request. Well, too bad."
"It's kinda tough. If I had been to three straight [NBA] Finals, I'd want to stay but you never know what type of relationship or what type of details they have going on the backside. Nobody knows what's going on behind closed doors. He's one of those guys who wants to be the main guy.
"It's a different situation when you're playing with a guy like LeBron James who is so dominant. Everyone is always going to be the second guy to him."
Wall was then baited with a suggestion that the Irving situation could weaken the Cavs, who have dominated the East since LeBron returned in the summer of 2014.
He didn't take the bait.
"You can't say that because you don't know who they are going to trade for or who they are going to add. You have to get through LeBron, so it's like 'damn.'"
Wall's comments display a maturity and nuanced understanding of the dynamics of NBA stardom. While staying with Cleveland would likely have given Irving more chances to win a title, he'd never escape LeBron's shadow in Cleveland. Wall realizes that he's not in a position to comment on the validity of Irving's desires because he is the man in Washington, while Irving is still searching for a team to call his own.