Unless you’re an Atlanta Hawks fan or Colin Cowherd, you probably enjoyed the hell out of John Wall’s performance in Game 1 of the playoff series between the Hawks and Washington Wizards. Wall was basically a human cheat code en route to a playoff career-high 32 point and 14 assist performance in Washington’s 114-107 victory.

Not that he has many doubters at this point but that game was like a time stamp in which seven-year NBA veteran was confirming to the world that he really is as good as he was supposed to be.

Of course, there was a time when not everyone thought the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft would be in this position. Or if they did, those people assumed that drafting Kentucky’s Wall was a roll of the dice and the smarter money would have been on drafting Ohio State’s Evan Turner, who went second to Philadelphia.

Seven years later, that kind of thinking didn’t quite pan out. While Wall is averaging 23 points per game and looking like a video game player in the playoffs, Turner is on his fourth team and has put together a reliable (10.5 PPG) but unheralded career (not that it stopped Portland from giving him $70M). While Wall is the rare No. 1 draft pick who has justified his selection, Turner was the regrettable No. 2 pick who didn’t justify the hype.

Time has not been kind to those who said they would have picked Turner over Wall, and neither are we.

We begin with one we’ve mentioned before: Reggie Miller. Miller was on The Dan Patrick Show in 2010 right before the draft and felt pretty strongly that Turner’s talent was something you just could not pass up.

“…there’s no way you can pass up a talent like Evan Turner. He’s a combo guard. I think immediately, he’s going to be better than John Wall. There’s a learning curve for John Wall.”

Wall did need a little bit of a learning curve, but waiting for that curve was well worth it for the Wizards.

To be fair, Reggie was not alone in thinking this. To be unfair, we’ll know remind you of who those people were.

However none of them can match the wonder and glory of this take from Deadspin’s Dan McQuade.


After the draft was done,  Josh Folck of Lehigh Valley Live and The Express-Times was pretty pleased with the way things worked out for the Sixers. 

Although Wall has tremendous ability and very well could be an All-Star in the NBA for many years, I’m not convinced he will be the Wizards’ savior.

…Too many times, it seemed like Wall dropped into the background and let the others around him pick up the slack. If he is the future NBA MVP many people claim he is, he should have taken it upon himself to lift his team to an NCAA title.

Unlike Wall, Evan Turner was forced to carry a far less-talented Ohio State team night in and night out during his final two seasons. He didn’t do a bad job either, leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Conference regular season and tournament championship this past season.

Credit due, Wall has never been League MVP (though he has been an All-Star four times, something Turner will probably never be once).

And finally, Fox Sports’ Pat Muldowney can take us home…

Imagine if Sixers fans made phone calls to other teams bragging about their lottery draft pick in the last decade? I can’t think of anything more depressing.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.