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John Wall: I’m NBA’s fastest player

Mar 28, 2013, 10:43 AM EDT

John Wall, Mike Conley

When two good players who play the same position play each other – as John Wall and Russell Westbrook did last night – they’re often asked about the other. Most players say something blandly positive about their opponent, satisfying the media with a nice sound bite.

But put in that position, Wall didn’t bite. Michael Lee of The Washington Post:

Wall was asked if Westbrook was the fastest player in the league and replied, “No, I’m going to say myself.”

Wall then flashed a playful grin and refused to bite when asked if Westbrook was at least the second-fastest player in the league. “It’s tough man,” Wall said. “There’s a couple fast guys in this league. He’s up there, Derrick [Rose] is up there, when he’s healthy. Mike Conley’s pretty quick. It’s different guys. Ty Lawson’s quick. So there’s a lot of guys, but I put myself first. Just for fun.”

Wall actually had the slowest pre-draft sprint time of the players he mentioned:

  • Rose (3.05)
  • Westbrook (3.08)
  • Conley (3.09)
  • Lawson (3.12)
  • Wall (3.14)

Of course, that one workout isn’t all-revealing, and a lot can change in the years since a player has joined the league. The two fastest sprint times in Draft Express’ database among active players belong to Nate Robinson (2.96) and Will Bynum (3.00), but at 28 and 30, they’re probably not quite that fast anymore.

With the ball, I’ll take Wall. He’s just a blur.

As far as track speed, that’s wide open. I think the fastest player is probably a non-descript backup somewhere who lacks the skills necessary to excel in the NBA but has the physical prowess to make the league.

  1. footballfan77 - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Harrison barnes was able to pass him for a awesome dunk no problem, fastest player my a**

  2. asimonetti88 - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Wall. He does not seem to really lose any speed with the ball in his hands.

    • eventhorizon04 - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM


      Obviously, all those guys are really fast, but I think Wall is the fastest with the ball, Lawson is probably the second-fastest with the ball, and Westbrook is the most “acrobatic” with the ball (combination of speed + leaping ability + body control).

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        Good point, I think Lawson and Wall may be tied for fastest with the ball. They’re both incredibly quick.

      • broncobeta - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Lawson if faster than Wall.

  3. dirtydavis - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I thought it was Patty Mills from the spurs?

  4. mp4philly - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM


  5. kchristainsen - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Rondo has to be up there too

  6. trudybeekman - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Answer is Parker & Rubio

  7. bifford - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I’d give it to Wall. Rose is near second, and his change of direction speed is second to none.

  8. shwoogy1 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Nate Robinson is atleast as fast as any of these guys. Dude is lightning fast. Before he joined the Bulls, I wasn’t a big fan but after watching him night in and night out he is a dangerous man on the floor.

    • lyndseymarieee - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Nate Robinson is one of the funnest players to watch in the league. I don’t care who he is playing for, I’ll try to catch a game or two of his when I can.

  9. somekat - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Most fragile? Now THAT describes Wall

    • loungefly74 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      great point. yeah…Wall is great n’ all…but he is becoming a “forgotten” player…partly due to playing in D.C. as well….

  10. captainwisdom8888 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I’d put Brandon Jennings or that Eric Bledsoe up against anybody in a race…but Wall is definitely up there.

    • bigbenh8tr - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Please see video of Bucks/Wizards, Jennings isnt close

  11. jgillmeister - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. DRose was and will be the fastest with or without the ball, and he’ll prove it as soon as he gets back.

    • bigbenh8tr - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      We are talking fastest/quickest player, not most explosive at the Rim, which would still go to Westbrook over Rose. He was never close to these guys

      • cain8923 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. None

  12. davidly - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Dunno about the active players, but the fastest I ever saw was Skibby MaRue.

  13. cain8923 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Rose is faster with a ball in his hands than Wall. Not to mention Wall is sometimes even out of control when trying to go too fast, turning the ball over or missing open layups on a break

    Everyone’s forgetting about just how athletically dominant Rose was just because he hasn’t been himself nor playing for the better half of the last 2 seasons, but when he was healthy it was no question he put these comparisons to rest

    And Westbrook having better body control than Rose? No, just no. Westbrook may be more durable and have greater stamina, but athletically those are the only 2 areas he’s above Rose in. Strength is also debatable

  14. rossthebosspalmer - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I think Wall would be more worn down at this point in the season if he had played the whole season. Although he did get plenty of rest, he has had to work himself into shape during the season. Maybe he is only got to his mid season form recently when his numbers began to surge, and the confidence of his new shooting technique finally set in.

  15. kavika6 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    No mention of Tony Parker? Oh, we must not be talking about contending teams or players currently playing.

  16. r3alta1k - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Rose is a beas and easily the better player….but players like Wall, Irving, are faster with the ball. As for a Wall being forgotten cuz he is on a bad team, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HIM…He just headlined ESPN after killing the Lakers..

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