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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  94 responses

John Wall: ‘I’m Back to Myself’


John Wall’s dominant and electric performances at various pro-am games this summer have him feeling pretty good about himself. From the WaPo: “I’m back. I’m back, man. I’m back to myself,’ Wall said. ‘Now I feel I can do whatever I want to do again, blow past people, get to the basket. I think those things that I started the season with last year, I got that back. It’s coming back. You’re going to see some stuff this year, it’s just whenever — hopefully the season starts as soon as possible. The main thing is just working on my game.’ Wall showed some of what he has been working on early in the summer league game, when he slowly brought the ball up court and dribbled left to get into the lane. When DeMar DeRozan slid in front to cut him off, Wall stopped, pivoted and spun around another defender for a layup, to the delight of the fans at Trinity University. Wall then held out his hands and shrugged, looking around as if to ask, ‘Did you forget who I was?’ There were times last season when Wall admittedly lost track of who he was, with a left foot injury and later a bone bruise in his right knee limiting what he could accomplish on the court for the Washington Wizards. Wall wanted to dominate, ease into the lane, leave defenders trailing on the break, catch alley-oop lobs and flex his muscles after getting fouled while making difficult layups. ‘But I couldn’t do it,’ Wall said. ‘After the first couple of games, I wasn’t myself, I was just basically fighting through injuries and trying to play. But now you’re going to see what I did in the summer league and those types of things. You’re going to see the beginning of me, when I started out and had a triple-double in six games.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    UGH, DOESNT HE HAVE TENDONITIS IN BOTH KNEES ALREADY??

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The sky is the limit for dude if he keeps working and he seems like the kind of cat that wants to improve every year. So I have little doubt in my mind that as long as he stays on the right path, he could be a top-3 PG in 2-3 yrs.

  • http://tempdog1 stephen

    I love this kids game. Its going to be a tossup between him n Rose for best PG in the league for years to come

  • tomtom

    I like him and i like rose but don’t sleep on Rondo, as a purple n gold guy that is tough to say but true.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Wall has been looking extremely healthy in those summer league games, and it’s good he’s got his swagger back, I just hope he gets to use it and the season starts on time.

  • marc

    wierd how people forget about cp3 and dwilliams like they are not improving their game.

  • Sean B

    ^^ Yeah but CP3 and D-Williams are no doubt great, but Rose/Wall are on another level due to their elite athleticism.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Being a great athlete has nothing to do with being a great PG. DWill and CP are better than Wall/Rose because of their supreme understanding of the position, better passers, better ballhandlers, and better shooters. Wall/Rose have a long ways to go before they can come close to being as good as those guys.

  • bike

    Summer league way < NBA. Wall is very much in need of an outside jumper (like Rose was before he worked his tail off). That fast-twitch fiber advantage works up to a point for a point guard.

  • coachp

    D Rose is the best pg in the league. Paul and Williams are nice too, but not only will Rose start over both of them in the next olympics, but the Hornets and Nets would trade their Starting Pg’s for Rose in a heartbeat

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I like John Wall, but maybe the reason he is having a good summer is because of the lesser competition, and lack of intensity?
    I can see why some one would say D Rose and John Wall will be battling it out for the title of best PG, although if CP is back to full health he should still be the best for the next few years. He is much further ahead when it comes to reading/understanding the game, that he is still better than these athletic guys with his average physical abilities by NBA standards.

  • jayrose

    @JT21…. long ways before they become close? Rose won MVP, if it wasnt for Blake Griffin im sure Wall wouldve won R.O.Y, I respect DWILL and CP3′s game but Drose and Wall arent that far. As soon as they can get help scoring points from their teams both of their assists per game will go way up. Their already amazing ball handlers, attack the basket, and score… there only going to get better.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    jayrose, it’s not like CP or Deron had great supporting casts in new orleans or new jersey. They are better passers than Wall and Rose, thats the reason for their higher assist totals. Deron’s squad in New Jersey was at times starting vujacic, damion james and or anthony morrow. The squad CP played with in the post season was real bad, Trevor Ariza led those guys in minutes and had one of the worst shooting seasons ever. What i’m trying to say is that rose and wall’s team mates are not to blame for the lower assist totals, rose and wall are.

  • MLK4Life

    No one controls games like CP3. D-Rose and Wall are different kinds of players. But watching Chris is like watching a surgeon. Same with Deron Williams.

  • hiphopcop

    Good, that you’re back to yourself Wall, now what you going to do with the season lost?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    When it comes to humility, Rose has Wall beat by boatloads. Not even close. Put Rose on the Wizards and he will humble even Andray Blatche into a winning power forward!

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    CALM DOWN PEOPLE, CP3 IS ONLY LIKE 25 YEARS OLD… He will continue holding the title of best PG in the league for minimum 6 more years!

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    He’s 26, but i like your enthusiasm.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Funny how Rose gets to the playoffs his first 3 years, gets ROY, youngest MVP ever, all-star STARTER, All NBA First team, 62 wins, ECF and is still considered the 3rd best pg by plenty of people mainly because of his ‘passing ability, court vision, and all that other important stuff that seems to be lacking in Drose’s skillset. How about the fact that when squared up against Dwill and CP3, they look helpless, yes helpless against him. It’s so ridiculous, Rose blows those guys away, STOP living in boxes, just because Rose is part of a change in the way PG is being played, doesn’t mean his any worse than a ‘traditional pg’.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    jahmai, chris paul had a better season at the same age than rose just had. review it your self. He also upped his play in the play-offs. CP and Rose played once this year, regular season game, and cp in no way looked helpless, although rose won the individual match-up and game. Melo has often out played Bron, yet he is not the better player.

  • robb

    @jayrose actually JTaylor21 is right. In terms of understanding the position, DRose and Wall are far from Deron and Chris. These young proto-PG’s are fun to watch and I support them 100%, but they still need work to do.

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    If you don’t think Chris Paul is better then Derrick Rose go back and look at how they performed in the playoffs.

  • respect

    why do ppl. hate on derrick rose like he doesnt KILL every pg he plays against, but this is about john wall and im glad to hear hes injury free hes gettin 20 and 10 this year

  • BAWSE

    CP3 is a beast. He is the best PG period. Rose is second and Williams is third. John Wall is gd but i am not ready to break out the JW teeshirts just yet. He has to do something in the NBA. How many guys showed “flashes” in their nba years and never did any major damage?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I do think Chris Paul is still a better point guard than Derrick Rose.
    But it’s also true that Rose made both CP and DWill look quite foolish when he matched up against them.
    Especially Deron Williams. Rose straight up embarrassed dude. Made Jerry Sloan quit in the process!
    Nah, just kidding about that last part.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    And I still think John Wall will be the best of the bunch.

  • CubicleWorker

    Any GM would take DRose over CP3 and DWill hands down… DWill isn’t even close to being an MVP.. he’s top 5 PG in the NBA right now (Nash, CP3, Rose, DWill, Billups/Wall). Roy without injury is comparable to DWill in terms of impact. It’s a shame CP3 doesn’t play in a bigger market as I don’t really get to see his game too much. DRose and JWall have unreal potential. I would take either of the two over any other PG in the league for the long hall.

  • http://www.ballislife.com/profiles/blogs/kobetop10moments nbk

    Cosign Rigomatic. I think John Wall got the best set of tools of any young PG, if he reaches his potential he’ll be the best of the group…..but boy oh boy does DRose have a headstart on him.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    CubicleWorker: You LIE!

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    This should be terrifying for the rest of the league.. I think John wall’s ceiling is just as high if not higher than rose.. He’s already a better passer and just as fast. And look… I love d.rose but you guys just gotta accept that right now, cp3 and dwill are just better at almost everything than rose. Although enigmatic’s absolutely right rose did destroy d.will Smh… He got Chris Paul too, but not nearly as badly, and Chris Paul was recovering from injury.. A fully healthy chris Paul (circa 07-08) could probably work d.rose over pretty badly tho. Also for the record? Chris Paul is nearly as unathletic as some of y’all think he is

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    *NOT Chris Paul is not nearly as unathletic as some of y’all think he is.. Dude is seriously strong

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Cosign enigmatic and nbk and nah cubicleworker not necessairly

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    But Rose will have a better career.
    Multiple championships, baby!
    Rosetradamus said so, he was right about being MVP, wasn’t he?

  • riggs

    wow I cant believe that chris paul and D.williams still have to prove themselves to some folks.

  • MLK4Life

    Can’t really say who’s the best because they play different styles. Derrick did incredibly well against the other PGs during the season. It depends on what style you want to play. I’d take CP3, D-Will, Derrick, and Wall over the rest of the crop of PGs in the league right now. Sometimes our eyes light up because Derrick and John do amazing things athletically, but they all get it done. Just in different ways.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Dude^^ Kobe and LeBron still have to prove themsleves to some people… “Kobe can’t win another chip”… “LeBron can’t close.” Doubters make the world go round.

  • MLK4Life

    Kobe has nothing to prove in my opinion. Now LeBron does. But Kobe? 5 Championships, 1A with Shaq on three of them, #1 on two of them, plus the rest of his regular season and postseason statistics. If he doesn’t win another championship, his legacy is set. But this isn’t a Kobe-LeBron post.
    Also, let’s not forget about Russell Westbrook. The brother took a lot of criticism during the playoffs, but he was the second best player on a team that got to the Western Conference Finals. He has more to learn about the position (mainly to give the ball to Kevin more), but he’s not nearly as reckless and selfish as some make him out to be.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    People can keep sleeping on Dwill if they want…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    MLK, definitely right about Westbrook. People love to hate on the kid, but he is a very good defensive PG, and a is lighting fast, strong, athletic. He;s an okay passer, but he has the tools to become a very good one. He needs to work on his jump shot and his shot selection and then he will be a top 5 PG. He needs to let KD have the ball more often we all agree on that.

  • chingy

    Anyone who thinks CP3 isn’t at the top of the PG race didn’t watch the playoffs

  • http://slamonline.com SpaceJam

    Chris Paul is the best pg when healthy as clearly evidenced by the play offs when he returned to form and demolished the Lakers. 07-08 was ridiculous what he did and he did that at full strength which he’ll be next season, or this season if we have one. He is one of the best pg defenders when healthy and a thief on and off ball. Plus he gets a very good number of rebounds for a pg. John Wall has so much potential it’s not even funny but he has to stay uninjured and get a jump shot. D Rose is the best scoring pg and he has pretty good court vision, yes he needs to learn the position more but Chicago’s offense is set up for him to score 25 ppg. They need that from him, otherwise they won’t win. He’d gladly score less and get more assist if he could. And D Will is the 3rd best pg in the league. Both he and Cp3 have underrated athleticism. Chris Paul is extremely quick and Deron is deceptively quick and very strong.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Allen, you know I don’t sleep on DWill, been watching him since he was at Illinois, but you gotta admit, he had a down season last year and Rose straight sliced him up each time they met.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    I mean hopefully enigmatic… We gone see tho.. I just want John wall to grab a chip too bc we’re both from nc… Btw I’ma have to cosign mlk4life and lakeshow Westbrook isn’t really that selfish. Personally I love russel westbrook’s game.. All hustle,heart and athleticism. Westbrook and rose remind me of young d.wade a little bit. People hate on Westbrook bc of the playoffs but they really do forget how badly he wants to win.

    Allen is right tho…people slept on Williams when he was in high school.. And they kept sleeping on him Illinois… Now he’s arguably the #1 pg in the league.. And once that wrist is fully healed… He’s a problem

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He had a down season after the injuries.
    Before the injuries, he was BEASTING.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Both games against Rose came after the injuries. I mean, he had two bad wrists! So yeah, he struggled. Go to Basketball Reference and look at his game logs for the first part of the season. dude was awesome.

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    CPaul is the best PG in the league by far, what he did against the Lakers in the playoffs this year was amazing.

    Rose and Wall may be better athletes, but they’re still way behind CP3 as basketball players.

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    Deron Williams averaged 15PPG and 12.8APG with the NETS. Broken wrists or not he was still a better Point Guard then Derrick Rose. Just not a better scorer.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    I like D-will but always thought he was overrated and he is the third best point in the league and if this was 2008 i would say cp3 is the best but it is not, so therefore; Rose is the best point guard in the league. cp3 performance against the lakers is OVERRATED, the lakers cant defend point guards and everybody knows this, I bet any other top five point would of had their way with the lakers last season with the way they were playing.Anyway, wall is a very good talent and could quite possibly become the best point guard but that remains to be seen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    funny how dudes wanna makes excuse for d-will and paul when it comes to their injuries during the season and completely write off others when they use that same excuse for Rose in the playoffs after he injured his ankle twice.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    I’ve always believed that Wall is more of a pure point than Rose. I even said that Wall is better than Rose. Right now, in fact. But only when concerning who is the purer point guard.
    John Wall is the truth.
    Get him some real talent…

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    Hey Javale McGee is real talent. That guy is gonna be scary good.soon.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    co-sign Slick Ric.
    Rose has a high pain threshold and wasn’t about to miss any playoff games but make no mistake, dude was not 100% against ATL and Miami in the playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Rose said his ankle was fine.
    DWill had surgery on both wrists.
    It’s ok to disagree. If Rose fans really believe dude is the best, or second best in the League, good for y’all. I got him at third.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Both McGee and Blatche are knuckleheads who could be beasting if they weren’t too busy being knucklheads.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    I hope so, nbk.
    He does remind me of Larry Nance.
    If Wall has a guy to “protect” him a la Charles Oakley, it would benefit the whole unit.
    Then, he needs a guy who commands a double team consistently.
    Then, he needs a coach with more credibility than Flip Saunders. I still have not gotten over Saunders letting Andray Blatche humiliate him during that season.
    And they need a locker room vet. A guy whose voice will be respected.

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    Blatche is on his way out of Washington, i’ve heard that a whole bunch of times this summer, enough for me to believe it’s 100% gonna happen. McGee has been workin on his game all summer, and Per 36 Minutes last year was putting up 13 10 and 3 blocks. at 24 that’s some crazy good production for a center w/ the skill-set of someone whose only been hoopin for about 20 minutes. especially considering he isn’t very foul prone, and doesn’t turn the ball over too often.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    All athletes say that, even john wall just admitted to it in the interview but I didn’t hear him say he suffered because he was hurt in the midst of the season because you dont want anyone thinking you are making excuses.

  • respect

    chris paul is good but a lot of pg’s killed the lakers last year, deron williams plays 0 defense and ever since i seen gilbert arenas give him 50 something points EASY! i knew i couldnt consider him the best pg, and john wall will take the wizards to the playoffs

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    McGee has snatched the “most athletic center in the league not named Dwight Howard” crown from Tyson Chandler, who used to own it back in the days. He could be a good player, no doubt.
    I still think it woulda been absolutely bananas if the Clips had gotten the number 1 pick back to back and gotten both Griffin and Wall. Can you imagine those two on the same squad?
    Of course, woulda been just as dope if OKC had gotten the number one pick in ’09 and drafted Griffin. Blake and Durant? Damn.

  • JL

    McGee is just too raw. I remember him trying to get his triple double that one time. He was trying so hard but just exposed how bad his offensive moves are. He looked like guys at YMCA. I mean he knew the moves, but pro’s are smooth because they dedicate themselves to make it look perfect. I am not sure if it’s the talent (which I think he has) or if he started developing offensive skills too late in life, or if he lacks a work ethic. Or maybe a little of all of it. however looking at how he rebounds (effort), I would say it’s more work ethic.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    aw man phuk mcghee. i’ll knock that n199a dik loose.

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    that is the most awkward comment in Slam History. good work Nerve.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    waddup nbk man

  • http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Don-t-tell-Kobe-Bryant-what-he-can-t-do?urn=nba-233572 nbk

    oh you know just stayin on my grind, how you been, stayin out of trouble?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    That sh*t was mad random. Classic nerve tho.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    yeah i caught a case but dem nickas ain’t gonna pursue thangz. they know what it iz. tyin up n19gas daughters in brooklyn basements. lolol
    u keep doin yo thang playa.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Eww nerve. Good to hear from you as usual though.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    waddup lakeshow. where dat n!gga philo? where dat phagit jukai? oh and talkin bout jukai 4 a minute. ayo crawford i ain’t NEVER said nuthin 2 nobody on that FB shTi. off subject n shtt but i gotta tell u that yer boi is a fake snitch. he aint even a real snitch. if u gonna tell on some dam body tell tha phukkin troof. u know what i’m sayin.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    yeah i might go in 2nite yall. dont lemme get 2 drinkin.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @the nerve.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    dont shout me out ni99a. john wall better than drose. tha FUK wrong witchu

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    ayye #nerveback

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    You called my name, nerve. lol

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Man, I thought sh*t was bout to get crazy up in here and then…nothing.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    OVERRATED!!! He is a streetball player, with structure in the NBA system he is just a good point guard. BRANDON JENNINGS WILL BE BETTER THAN HIM THIS YEAR. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The booking agent with tourrettes has arrived.
    Brandon Jennings? Wow.

  • http://www.ballislife.com/profiles/blogs/kobetop10moments nbk

    You called someone a streetball player and then said Brandon Jennings will be better? There are 60+ PG’s in the NBA and you managed to pick the closest thing to a streetball player of All of Them one that has not had as good a season as Wall’s rookie year in his whole career? Seed you are impossibly hopeless. STOOPIT!!!

  • Allenp

    Wall is better than Jennings right now. Easily.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    The Seed makes the nerve look like Albert Einstein.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    8:32pm was me.
    The Seed makes the nerve look like Benjamin Franklin.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Seed makes the nerve look like George Washington Carver.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Seed makes the nerve look like Immanuel Kant.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Seed makes the nerve look like Socrates.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Seed makes the nerve look like Caesar the Ape.

  • T-Money

    At the 1, there’s CP3 and then there’s everyone else. I would actually take Rose before D-Will tho. Thats a new stance for me but Im just not as high as I used to be on D-Will. And I don’t like my pg to be moody. John Wall, despite the struggles, has a better understanding of the pg spot than Rose had after year 1

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    the nerve must be drunk talkin bout john wall better.. in yo wet dreams.

  • Brian

    1. CP3
    2. D.WILL
    3. D.ROSE

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    LOOKS LIKE THE NERVE WAS IN THE KLINK

  • mykel

    John Wall is the man! Watch out D-Rose

  • mykel

    1. CP3
    2. Rose
    3. D-Will
    4. Rondo
    5. John Wall

  • the nerve

    watchu know bout the klink playa? sheeeeit i b runnin shtt in the yard yo. sellin maddd toilet paperz man. drownin punks in toilets heffer. u know what i’m saying hos? sellin mad soap playa. even killaz know who we be loc. c.o.’s know what it do. last time i was in there i dunked on this gyy ass dude tryna guard jer boy. NNNiGGGAAAA puleez.
    AYO TAYLOR-
    huh VICARIOUSLY!!!

  • http://cnbc.com Steve

    I still think Jason Kidd is the purest point in the league just saying since everyone forgets the old guy still does work

  • http://cnbc.com The Seed

    JTaylor makes Kobe look like a Fu*king god. I can ball you up one on one. Book it son

  • Brian

    Every year in the league D Rose has become a more complete player and has evolved his game. John Wall is a tremendous talent but how could you say his potential is better than Rose. Rose has proved everyone wrong so far and people are continuing to hate and discredit his accomplishments. Rose has the most potential in the NBA regardless of position. You could say CP3 and DWill are better point guards, I say Rose is the better player. Rose-22, CP3-26. Rose works on his weaknesses until he is the best. When he develops his NBA IQ like CP3 has he will be truly unstoppable. I am a huge John Wall fan, but don’t sleep on Westbrook.

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