The Washington Wizards put on a Midnight Madness-style event in order to usher in the John Wall era with a nod to college basketball-style excitement, and it was a success.
More than 4,000 fans showed up on a weeknight to the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason to see the extravaganza start to training camp and Wall take center stage.
Wall greeted Kentucky fans last year with dance moves and seemed to enjoy the Wizards event as well.
From the Washington Post:
When asked to compare the crowd to the one at Kentucky, Wall said, "In college, all of this would've been filled, probably moreso. but it was a good crowd that came out to support us."
He also mentioned that his Midnight Madness at Kentucky was around 7 p.m. He had no problem with [Flip] Saunders's plans to have a late first practice for training camp. "I was happy. It reminded me of college, so it was great," Wall said. "For students to come out this late and they have school tomorrow, it means a lot."
Tom Izzo enjoyed himself as well. A friend of Wizards coach Flip Saunders', the Michigan State coach is hoping to learn by watching the Wizards in practices and team meetings, according to The Post.
"This was a phenomenal crowd, it really was," he said after the event. "Nobody in the NBA has done this event before Flip. He's probably started a trend, and next year you'll probably have 20 teams doing it."