After years of hoping and anticipation, John Wall was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday. Given the fact that Derrick Rose was out for the year, combined with the fact that Wall has put together a monster year so far, this did not come as that much of a surprise. “J-Dub” as some of his teammates call him has averaged 20 points, 9 assists and 2 steals per contest. Wall’s competition at point guard was not the stiffest as other than Kyrie Irving no truly established floor generals stood in his way.
“I called my mom and said, “We made it.” Wall later went on to add that, “I was close to tears to be honest” all according to CSNWashington.com. Wall claimed that in the past he had always been a player to lead by example but this season he felt that it was time to make the transformation in to an all-around leader. The high flying point guard traces his change in mindset to a pre-season players only meeting orchestrated by Trevor Ariza. Wall claims that he was asked to provide his opinion on each player’s specific rolls in front of his whole team. Wall felt that this experience allowed him to be more comfortable with his team and begin to understand how to talk to his teammates constructively. This influx of confidence has clearly correlated with Wall’s on court play as he has simply taken over several games and led his team to victory.
This all-star nomination comes directly at the right time for Wall, in the season following his max contract extension. Prior to this season many people within the basketball world as well as fans of the team displayed their uncertainty that Wall deserved such a contract. This milestone in Wall’s career will not silence all of his doubters but it should go a long way in Wall continuing to build his career. In addition to being named as an Eastern Conference all-star reserve, Wall stated that the league asked him to participate in both, the skills challenge, and the Dunk Contest but he has yet to decide if he will partake. Wall was named as an Eastern Conference reserve alongside Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, Paul Millsap, Chris Bosh, Demar Derozan and Lance Stephenson.
Making an all-star team is one of several goals that Wall has set for himself as an NBA player. Another current and achievable goal for Wall whether explicitly stated or not, is to be the leading man on a winning squad. The Wizards are still bobbing around the .500 mark and for Wall to take the next step in both his own mind and in the minds of true NBA fans, Wall needs to do some damage in the playoffs. With Wall’s play thus far in the season, combined with a stronger supporting cast than he has ever had, Wall and the Wizards have an outstanding chance to do damage in the playoffs as well as boost John Wall’s stock up to superstar level.