John Wall vs. Evan Turner
Today we are comparing Turner’s ability to John Wall’s marketability.
I recently received a response on a message board about John Wall. I did not agree with this response, I did not understand this response, nor did I think this response was well thought out. All of that doesn’t matter though. What this argument created was food for thought. It forced me to ask myself “Do fans quite comprehend the business aspect of sports?” As a fan it is okay to just care about winning, but when you own a franchise, or run a franchise you have to think about more than just winning. You cannot think locally, you have to think globally.
I don’t mean to say winning is not important, but it helps to win with stars. Brandon Roy, Deron Williams, Rip Hamilton, Danny Granger, Kevin Martin, and even Chris Bosh are all good or even great players. They also have something else in common; none of them capture the attention of the nation. Players who do capture everyone’s attention include Kobe, LeBron, Melo, Wade, and Dwight “Superman” Howard. Their teams are on national TV almost every night. It doesn’t matter if they play for Denver, Cleveland, L.A., or Miami. What matters is that people tune in to watch the games no matter if they are fans of their respective teams or not. NBA fans in general want to see greatness or at least what they perceive as greatness. People want to buy the clothing and shoes of these afore mentioned stars. Fans buy the video games or magazines with the faces of these players. Lastly, fans want to watch them play whether it is in person or on T.V.
So why are we discussing this? Because I came to the conclusion some really don’t understand why if blessed with the #1 pick, David Kahn has to take John Wall and not Evan Turner. I absolutely love Evan Turner’s game. He is my favorite player in this draft, but you can’t take him #1. As I have written before; John Wall has “it.” He is considered the best prospect in the world right now. The Timberwolves are struggling to attract fans to their games because they stink. They also have no headline player to whom this franchise can point to and say “Hey casual or non-basketball fan come watch a game!” I don’t care if you have been living under a rock for the past 7 years you know who LeBron and Kobe are. You’ll go to a game just to say “I saw that guy play.” Well everyone is convinced John Wall can be “that guy.” So if you own or run a team you don’t have to think about anything but taking Wall.
If you pass on Wall and Turner turns out to be Scottie Pippen, great…..as long as Wall doesn’t turn out to be D-Wade. I am not going to get into a “Pippen is better” “No Wade is better” argument, but Wade is much, much, much more marketable. If John Wall is bound for possible (marketing) greatness you have to take him. The Cavs didn’t take Melo over LeBron despite having a proven track record because of all the reasons I just named. LeBron had the charisma and the ability to take the league by storm, and so does Wall. As much as I like Turner he is the Melo of this draft. So I am sorry for those few people who still think David Kahn should have the option to take the player he wants, but his hands are tied. He gets no option if come draft night the Wolves are the owners of the #1 pick.