Washington Wizards guard John Wall went off against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, scoring 26 points with 14 assists and hitting a big time game-winner to beat the Bulls 101-99.
After the game, he credited his big performance to Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine, saying Valentine “woke a monster” by dancing in celebration of a three pointer he made.
Today, the rookie responded to Wall’s fiery comments.
Denzel Valentine on Wall's "Woke up a monster" comments: "I'm glad I could be his motivation. But why wasn't he playing like that all game?"
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 12, 2017
This is pretty good shade, and a pretty bold move by Valentine.
It reminds me of earlier this season when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a blowout. After the game, Cavs star LeBron James discussed the impressive performances of young Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Except James wasn’t impressed.
Instead, he said it left him feeling frustrated. He felt like the budding duo elevated their game against him, and if they’re capable of playing like that, they should do it every night.
That’s essentially what Valentine is saying here, except…. James if a four-time MVP, and Valentine is a rookie. Parker and Antetokounmpo are young guns, Wall is an established veteran.
Regardless, it’s a nice bit of trash talk that could hopefully be revisited in a fun playoff series if Washington and Chicago are both able to get it together.