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John Wall trying to use USA Basketball snub as motivation

Jan 27, 2014, 10:37 AM EDT

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When USA Basketball announced its pool of players being considered for the World Championships this summer (and the Rio Olympics in a couple years) the list included the best point guards in the NBA: Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard.

John Wall was not on that list. His Wizards’ teammate Bradley Beal made the cut as a two guard but not Wall.

Wall feels snubbed.

It’s likely that Wall be named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team this week, but he is using not getting his name called by Team USA as motivation, he told the Washington Post.

“I been through it before. The main thing for me is try to be professional. I went out there and played. I did it the right way,” Wall said of his experiences with Team USA minicamp. “I just use it as more motivation. It’s nothing I could do. It’s nothing I can say, and I don’t want nobody to babysit me or try to make it work for me. They made their list, they made their decision and that’s what they’re happy with, and I just have to look past that. It’s more motivation because I didn’t make McDonald’s game. I wasn’t national player of the year. I wasn’t rookie of the year. So those are just tabs I keep to motivate myself to prove people wrong.”

Wall is skilled and putting up career numbers this season — 20.2 points per game, getting 1.9 steals and he is shooting 32.5 percent from three — but at the deepest position in the NBA right now (at least in terms of elite players) that is not enough. Wall is not better than anyone on that list (save for maybe Deron Williams when injured this season) and his three point shooting is not strong enough for the international game where that matters more.

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The USA basketball pool of players is fluid, some guys will fall out, some guys will jump in. Wall could jump in. Mike Krzyzewski has put in a system where the USA tries to run and use its superior athleticism to overwhelm opponents.

Wall, who is quick with the ball, could fit into that. But he’s going to have to prove it even more on the court during the NBA season to make his case.

  1. aboogy123456 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    John Wall is going to be a top 5 player in the NBA soon, at any position. I think the USA basketball focuses too much on finding shooters. They are so much better than every other team anyway, so they should just honor the best players as opposed to finding guys like Korver who fit the system better.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      They tried that, and it got them a 6th place finish at the 2002 World Championships and 3rd place at the 2004 Olympics. I think you are not only overselling Wall’s talent level, you are underselling the talent across the Globe.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        There are many people that would say it’s unfair to lay the blame of the 2004 Olympics on the players when it was really all about the coaching. It ws Larry Brown that was coaching that year, and he had a thing against young players. So the young guns he had on his Olympic squad that year hardly played or did not play at all. That list included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. It probably included more (possibly Bosh), but it doesn’t matter because Brown wouldn’t have played him whether or not Bosh was there.

  2. timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    The fact that Deron Williams was chosen, should show Wall not to take this very seriously.

  3. thomaskouns - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Guess they didn’t get the memo that according to Wall he’s ‘the best PG in the league.’

  4. tomasekradek - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Well it goes both ways. Neither Irving, Lillard or D-Will are better than Wall right now.

    • sire2334 - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      I’d say he’s better right now….But John didn’t show up during the scrimmages and practices with the USA team…Well excluding DWill anyway. I like Wall, but if that’s the list, I can understand. The only player I would say he undoubtedly should replace is DWill, but he’s a vet. so I get that. He, Kyrie, and Lillard are great but they’re so close you can make an argument for all of them.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        What’s silly about this is the Olympics are in 2016…why are we talking about DWill for those Olympics?!? The dude hasn’t been healthy for an entire NBA season in years – how will 2 additional years of age, wear and tear going to help him or Team USA? They could have excluded Williams and put John Wall on this team.

  5. ballin99999 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Irving, Lillard and Wall are all very good players in their own right, but if shooting holds more value to a team….gotta go with kyrie and Lillard they can shoot the lights out wall is an average at best shooter.

  6. calvinisthobbesian - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Guess that means Walls will go out and have some 10 for 39 nights instead of those 9 for 29 and 4 for 19 nights he regularly has.

  7. coachjac30 - Jan 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but this is mostly for the World Championships this year, no? Can’t they readjust after this year if they feel a player is better than someone else? If Williams is healthy, and that is a HUGE if, he’s a better player than Wall. Also, keeping in mind that Williams has played the international game and is familiar with that style, that is more than likely the reason he is being looked at over Wall right now.

    Maybe Colangelo and Coach K think Lillard, Curry, Williams, Paul, Irving and Westrbook play better with the group of players they are looking to send.

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