Wall Plenty Motivated To Stand Out At BBVA Rising Stars Challenge




ORLANDO — John Wall didn’t need any extra motivation.

The point guard was already sick to his stomach of the losing that’s gone with his Wizards at 7-26 at the season’s midpoint. But getting lost in Ricky Rubio mania earlier this season and more recently Jeremy Lin(sanity) certainly serves as extra reminders that if you’re not careful, folks will forget about you.

Wall figures he’ll get his chance to remind everyone exactly who he is tonight in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, a game where the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Draft will cede the headliner status to Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin, rookie point guards Kyrie Irving and Rubio and an undrafted member of his own draft class in Lin.

Griffin and all three of those other point guards were among the 11 players that came off the board before Wall in the draft for this game, conducted by TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, who took Wall with the 12th overall pick.

A year and a half into his NBA career and Wall is already being marginalized. What elite competitor wouldn’t be hungry to prove his critics wrong after a snub like that?

“I know what people think but it’s really not just about this one game,” Wall said. “It’s using the second half of the season as motivation to get better for me. And if this game is a statement game for me, and there are supposed to be 11 or 12 guys better than me, then we need to play this game and see.”

Wall isn’t the only player eyeing this game as a platform to showcase his game for the fans and the global audience that will tune in. Bobcats rookie Kemba Walker, who’ll play with Irving, Rubio and Lin on Team Shaq, can’t wait to get on the big stage again to remind a few people that he’s gotten comfortable with his game in the league.

“This is a national TV game for me, really my first once since college,” Walker said. “A lot of guys haven’t seen me a play. A lot of people haven’t heard a lot from me this season. So I’ve got a lot to prove as well. At the same time, it’s All-Star Friday night and All-Star weekend, so you want to have fun with it, too.”

Wall said he plans on having plenty of fun. But first and foremost, there is work to be done, the same way Wall says he has gone about his business all season.

“Anybody that knows me knows I’m going out there and playing hard every night,” Wall said. “Even though we are going through some tough times, my mindset is to get better every game. Even if we’re down 30 I’m trying to work on things to get better.”

Wall has shined this season and especially in recent weeks, he’s averaging 20.0 points, 8.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the floor in the Wizards’ last 10 games. Still, on draft night for this game Wall didn’t get the respect a player of his abilities and production deserved.

“I really don’t know how long it takes to get that respect,” Wall said. “Guys know that I can play in this league. They know there are some tough times we’re going through right now. But eventually, you earn you respect from everybody, coaches, referees and certainly the other players and fans and everybody. they know you’re going to do the right things and play the game the right way and they’ll respect that.”

Wall said that’s why he plans on setting the tone for this game by treating it like anything but an exhibition.

“I’m glad he said it,” Walker said. “With All-Star games, people tend not to play hard and whatever. But the fans want to see us play. That’s right. I’m glad John said that. We need to play hard. It makes the game much more competitive. It’ll be a way better game this way.”


33 Comments

  1. dave says:

    stop hatin on wall he’s a great kid with excellenct potenital

    • Skywalker says:

      Agree with you except the especially Irving Hype. The kid does not get enough hype, nobody talks about him for how much of a a surefire stud he is

  2. dave says:

    John wall has as much potential as anyone he can easily be the next d rose it suprises how all these lin’s and rubios and espically IRVINGS get so much hype and credit while wall is overshadowed. If he can improve his shot and play more controlled the sky is the limit

  3. Jasmic says:

    Wall properly has the quickest speed in the game, and he just need to learn how to use his speed efficiently and with a better mid range jumper he is a long term all star

  4. Fo Real? says:

    Just the fact wall is taking this exhibition game seriously says he is an over rated nobody. Lin burned hi in the summer league.

  5. Your an idiot says:

    @shutup that game was while he was injured plus it was over a year ago and not relevant to this season at all lol and even with the 7 turnovers while being injured he put up way better numbers than lin did last night. Your clearly an idiot but this isn’t a wall vs lin debate I just stated that some of the players picked before him make no sense especially for a game that is all about highlight reel dunks and showing off your athleticism.

  6. charles says:

    That’s what happens when you are a point guard who can’t shoot and can’t manage a game. Wall is a better shooting guard than a point guard.

  7. TRuth says:

    John Wall is a very good player and well improved i might add. If John Wall had a sharpshooter like Novak it’d be a different story. If he had chandler, it d be a different story. If he had amare, it d be a different story. if he had Kvin love, itd be a diff story. if he had durant, it d be a different story, if he had ibaka, it d be a different story. But most of all if they had a tad bit of Veteran leadership, it d be a tad bit different. Soooo put a bandage over ur bleeding ignorance folks :D

  8. Yo says:

    I dunno about Russ Westbrook but I know for a fact Wall is way better than Rubio and Lin lol. Are you kidding me? Rubio is the most overrated pg in the league. He averages like 11 ppg and shoots 37%. I don’t even have to mention the fact that Lin just had a 8 point 8 turnover game while shooting like 1 for 12 against the first serious defense he played against. And he was outplayed by wall when the two played eachother.Most importantly though, this is a pickup game for highlights and if anyone watched what Wall did this summer (Watch the cp3 game on youtube) you would know that he is BY FAR the most athletic and exciting guard playing in this game. smh

    • Shut up says:

      @Yo,

      i think you forgot how terrible Wall play against the Heat back in Feb 10….. 7 turnover and 1 rebound ??????

      write something that is useful next time.

  9. ALLNBAFAN says:

    Wall really just needs a better coach that knows how to run offensive effectively. He’s lacking leadership compared to Russell, Lin-Visable, and Rubio because they have better coaches. Other than the fact that Wall is a show-off, he needs a coach like Tom or Scott brooks, or every Doc Rivers.

  10. Poop Mcnuggets says:

    Lin! Lin! Lin!

  11. Tiaradastar says:

    NOOOO…John Wall is an amazing player her may not be better then some of the player he named but he i good or he wouldnt of been a 1st over all pick..And sayin all he gotta do is win you must not no much about basketball…it takes a whole team to win a game if Wall is puttin in all the effort how he gonna play agaist these big name like WESTBOOK and Durant..or Wade,Bosh and James..they have a team to back them..They not playin by them selves..One man cant put up 112 points by himself

  12. Shut up says:

    Hey Wall, NBA = No Baby Allowed

  13. Jim Paponetti says:

    Its sad that Kyrie Irving hasnt got any hype this year because he plays for Cleveland and hes clearly better than both Rubio and Lin and far ahead of Wall.

    • sasiro says:

      yeah because minnesota has always been the “supreme” market of nba, wait a moment… And of course Rubio has better they’ve almost made the playoffs the last two years, oh wait maybe not.

  14. Matt says:

    Rubio makes up for a bad shot with leadership and an ability to get others the ball in a position to score (not to mention he’s top 3 in the league in steals). But Westbrook is definitely better than Rubio, Lin, and Wall.

  15. Sean says:

    John Wall is a good player and I understand where he’s coming from but this is just a showcase of talent and his main concern should be leading his team to some victories. If he wants to impress anybody then forget about the points let me see 10 rebounds 10 steals and 5 blocks and then the fans will be impressed and maybe it will rub off on his teamates a word called DEFENSE.

  16. JoeS says:

    Let’s wait and see….

  17. Jerry says:

    Wall is not in a good mind, IMO. It is just a show, don’t take it seriously, man. You wanna show sth? show it in the games, not in a SHOW. you cry for bad teammates, why not make them better just as Lin did? (Lin is not as good as the hype, but at least he showed something that really impressed a lot of people)

  18. ZULU says:

    Glad Wall is going to get his opportunity to ‘play’ with some very talented guys. He is or has to be well aware that the Wizards may not be the best team inside the Beltway (on a consistent basis).

  19. Sizzler says:

    @ Prix

    Your right basketball is a team game, unfortunately Wall is on course to be running one of the worst teams in the NBA. Where as the guys you’ve mentioned Rubio, Lin and Westbrook have all improved there TEAM.

    • OMG says:

      Their*
      And as far as who the best of these four is, it’s obvious Russell Westbrook is way ahead of the rest three. As for Wall, he is so-so shooter and turns the ball over too much… Oh right, Rubio shoots even worse and Linsanity keeps turning the ball over all the time…
      I won’t write about NYK case(too fresh, other teams are adjusting, Lin is cooling off, and Melo is back- we will see how this works out in the long run), but as for Rubio making Twolves better- lol. It’s like everyone forgets they have one of the best coaches(yet probably the most underrated) in the history of the NBA, not to mention that Minnesota has way better squad than Wizards- who is the second best player of that team, anyway? McGee? Young? Blatche? Please. No wonder Wall almost cried when the Wizards got the 1st pick.
      Rubio and Lin are just product of ubiquitous media coverage- one aimed at Hispanic-Latino market, the second as a Yao replacement as a bait for Asians- and that’s why many people are already ready to put them in the Hall of Fame; congrats, you have just got manipulated.

  20. marcus says:

    are you kidding me man? he’s just good in dancing teach me how to dougie.. lol he’s such a show off

  21. YouMustBeJWall'sBsh says:

    Are you kidding me? he is NOT way better than all the players you listed. If he were to be better than all the above, his team should be winning like Linning. Lin went 7-1 with Bill walker/jared jeffreys/LField/Chandler/Novak. Wizards do have alot of young talents why? cuz he doesnt make other players better. Wall lacks in leadership. Yes he is talented, but lets face it. Crying about how hes picked at 12 or 14th pick for rising star makes him real deal. He should cry less and practice more to get his team on the positive side.

    • JD says:

      AGREED!!! John Wall, if u want respect… WIN GAMES!!! All u gotta do is win, no matter how bad your team is…

    • do the john walll says:

      oh yea while john wall got a song named after him!! Do any of them? no! i dont think so!!

  22. prix says:

    Wall will simply amaze them this all star…put him in Orlando with Dwight or Lakers and I´m sure he will be an All Star..basketball is not a one man´s game..Wall don´t shine because he have nothing behind him..his talent comes to waste in the cursed Wizards..He is way more better than Rubio or Lin or even Westbrook…

    • Led Zeppelin says:

      lulz yea right westbrook is muuuuch better than john Wall and besides its way easier to shine in a terrible team like Washington

    • Manny says:

      sorry dude but i disagree, even though wall have nothing behind him, Based on stats alone like field goal percentage etc. , he is considered as one of the worst guards in the league.

    • LOl? says:

      Your statement became invalid when you said he is better than Westbrook. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. And by the way, Rubio is and will be better than him once it’s all said and done. Even Lin himself, but we never know.

    • MC says:

      Wall is not that good compared to other rookie stars. I know people dont like LBJ (im not his fan), but he simply one hand carried the whole Cavalier to NBA final a few times. If Wall is good, he should be carryinglike LBJ did. I know it’s all LBJ’s fault right? :P