Washington Wizards guard John Wall is going to miss the 2018 NBA All-Star Game thanks to knee surgery. Meanwhile, his team is playing well without him and the tension between the All-Star guard and his teammates has been apparent.
The rest of the team has made it a point to push the mantra of “everybody eats” with Wall out, it has been seen by many at a dig at the ball-dominant Wizards star. Marcin Gortat sent out a tweet following a recent win that many — including Wall — interpreted as pointed criticism for the injured star.
Speaking with ESPN, Wall openly dismissed Gortat, saying that he “spoon fed” the big man buckets. As you might imagine, that probably didn’t sit right with Gortat or folks inside the Washington organization.
Now, it appears both Wall and Gortat have tried to rectify things.
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the two sat down to try and discuss the tension growing between them.
The meeting, which didn’t last long, facilitated the airing of grievances, but sources say there is still more work to be done to fully repair that relationship.
Those close to the franchise suggest these are natural altercations from the rigors of such an emotional season.
After a 122-119 win over the red-hot Toronto Raptors on Feb. 1, the team’s third consecutive victory with Wall sidelined as he recovers from knee surgery, Gortat tweeted:
Soon after, Wall, sources say, reached out to Gortat via a text message and essentially stated that if there’s a problem, direct it to him instead of using social media to spew backhanded insults, sources with knowledge of the conversation told ESPN.
Gortat has explained that his tweet was never intended as a jab to Wall, and reiterated that he was genuinely praising the team for a big win.
Wall is slated to be back before the playoffs start, and he will need to be able to play alongside Gortat if the Wizards want to make a run into the postseason.
Washington currently sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.