Throwing Numbers Against Wall, Seeing What Sticks

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 23: John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the SEC game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on January 23, 2010 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 101-70. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    Do you have John Wall’s number?  He wishes you did. 

    The Wizards' No. 1 pick recently tweeted a plea for people to help him select a number to wear on his Washington uniform.

    Why does he need a new number?  The No. 11 he wore at Kentucky was retired by the Wiz/Bullets for Elvin Hayes

    So his tweet sparked debate about what digit he’ll be donning at the start of next season.

    You can bank on the fact that it won’t be any higher than 15 because, as a point guard, it’s hard to have any swagger when you’re donning the same number as your favorite running back.
    So let’s use the Wizards’ past to look at some of Wall’s options, weeding out some of the figures he should avoid:
    0. If Gilbert Arenas is leaving the only number he ever loved behind, then nobody else should touch it. Plus, detractors never told Wall he wasn’t going to get minutes.
    1. Taken by Nick Young, and before that Jared Jeffries donned it while not living up to his potential as the 11th overall pick. Oh, and while Rod Strickland had an awesome chinstrap beard, he once gave Tracy Murray a black eye in a fist fight. You know what they say: Nobody gives Tracy Murray a black eye and expects John Wall to wear their jersey number later!
    2.  God’s (Shammgod) shoes are big enough to fill that Wall should stay away. He might have super powers, but Wall’s just a man.
    3. This number would work perfect for Wall, assuming he went to the University of Maryland and was going to come off the Wizards bench (Laron Proffit and Juan Dixon). Brendan Haywood wore it before he was good, and Caron Butler and Quinton Ross rocked it last season. Ross was traded today, so it’s available.
    4. We all remember this number for one Wizard and one Wizard only: Courtney Alexander. I think Antawn Jamison may have worn it as well, but I’m not sure. Chris Webber’s only season as a Wizard (’98) was also spent in No. 4, but Webber’s best days were with his second team. I don’t want that to happen with Wall. Scratch this one off the list.
    5. Two words: Kwame Brown. Here’s to hoping Wall takes out a restraining order against this number.
    6. “Agent Six,” Gilbert Arenas, (that just doesn’t sound right), will be wearing this digit. It’s too bad that it’s taken too, because Antonio Daniels and Mike Miller were likeable guys. This could’ve been a fit.
    7. Taken by Andray Blatche. Chucky Atkins wore this number as a Wizard. If you knew that, you deserve a prize. I don’t have one to give you, but you deserve one.
    8. Ike Austin is the organization’s second-biggest bust since the name change. If that’s not reason enough to stay away, Javaris Crittenton wore No. 8 in DC. How’d that work out for him?
    9. All three of the guys who have worn this number for the Wizards have been non-factors: Paul Davis, Cedric Jackson and Darius Songaila. This number might just be too boring for Wall.
    10. Retired to honor Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Too bad, because a pair of hard-working point guards wore this number. (Tyronn Lue and Jeff McInnis).

    11. Wall’s college number is retired by the Wizards. Elvin Hayes donned it from 1972-1981, originally in Baltimore and then in Washington.

    12. Chris Whitney is the most recognizable Wizard to have rocked this number. There’s no way you have a negative thing to say about Washington’s long-time sharpshooter. Put it in the “maybe” pile.
    13. Unlucky digit for Mike James, who didn’t do anything to warrant being buried at the bottom of Washington’s bench last year. Maybe Flip Saunders just doesn’t like it? Avoid it.
    14. Taken by Al Thornton. Prior to this past season, had been reserved for players who make it rain like Pacman Jones during pre-game shoot-arounds, then are no-shows during games (Oleksiv Pecherov).
    15. It did Anthony Goldwire well on a couple of 10-day contracts, but Randy Foye couldn’t use it to become the floor-general that Saunders needed. Looks like it will be available though.
    Long division is easier than this math. But after carrying the ‘y’ and adding up the remainders, my hunch is that Wall will end up wearing No. 3. I think he should go with No. 12, though. Is that because I had a man-crush on Chris Whitney? Maybe.
    If you have a better idea  you'd better submit it to the No. 1 overall pick soon. Over the weekend, Wall said he was hoping to pick a number this week.