John Wall says goodbye


Today in "Duh!" John Wall will not be coming back for a second year of collegiate basketball. You don't say:

After one season of college basketball, Wall said a final farewell to Kentucky while officially announcing that he will enter this year's NBA Draft.

He said he briefly thought about returning to UK for another season after the Wildcats' loss to West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament's East Regional finals, one game short of the Final Four.

"I sat back about a week and a half and just realized we could win it (if he returned next season)," Wall said. "But there's no guarantee what would happen next year. I just feel like it was an opportunity to go. After I talked with my family and the coaching staff I just felt like it was time to go."

This is easily the least surprising news of the offseason. Are there any competitors? Wall was a one-and-done No. 1 overall NBA draft pick from the time he arrived on Kentucky's campus last fall until now, and there was simply no way he was going to be back for a second year. What is less surprising here is that Wall seems borderline tempted to stay. Unlike some one-and-dones, who don't seem to enjoy the college thing all that much and treat it as a halfhearted noncommittal bridge to NBA riches (cough, O.J. Mayo; cough, Lance Stephenson), Wall genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself this year. His coach, John Calipari, insisted Wall was loving college and was thinking about coming back throughout the season, even as Calipari was publicly advising against it.

That's really all you can ask for from a guy like John Wall -- enthusiasm. Even if he was dead set on coming back, his team of advisers and ear-benders would have never allowed it. In 2010, No. 1 overall picks simply don't come back for their sophomore years. In a way, it's silly Wall had to play a minute of college basketball in the first place. But he certainly made the best of the situation.

There will be plenty of time to eulogize Wall's career in the coming weeks, but for now, that's what I'll remember most. Wall was an undeniably brilliant player, a born leader and a freak athlete, and we got to watch Wall enthusiastically play college basketball for a year. For purely selfish reasons, sometimes this one-and-done thing is pretty awesome.