Jan 31, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT
John Wall is an All-Star.
He deserved to be selected as a reserve. He’s been healthy all season (which is a change) and with that has been one of the best point guards in the East averaging 19.8 points and 8.5 assists a game, and while he could be more efficient (true shooting percentage of 52.1 percent) he as Washington around .500 and in the playoffs in the east.
J. Michael of CSNWashington.com talked to Wall not long after he found out he was an All-Star reserve selection of the coaches and asked him what was the first thing he did.
“I called my mom and said, ‘We made it.’ We made another step in life. It’s one of my goals I set for myself when I made it to the NBA. I’m glad I accomplished it…
“I was close to tears, to be honest. Getting in front of my teammates and stuff, talking to those guys tomorrow, I might have a couple of tears. I appreciate those guys for believing in me, having faith in me being their point guard and leader. Most of those guys text me and called me and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I know I have a great team behind me and supporting me.”
Wall said he was asked by the league to participate in both the Dunk Contest and Skills Competition on All-Star Saturday night, but has not decided if he will participate.
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Washington has gone all-in on Wall with a max contract extension (five years, $80 million, kicks in next year). He is going to be the face of the franchise for years, the leader of this team. Which is a role he said is a role he still has to adjust to.
He mentioned a team-only meeting early in the season after a loss when he was asked to step into that role and felt uncomfortable.
“When we had that talk and Trevor Ariza had the (players-only) team meeting, they basically asked me to come out and what I think everybody’s role was and how I felt about it. I was just being honest and trying to be a leader. It’s tough for a guy like me going into his fourth year having a lot of veterans like that, guys like Al Harrington, Nene, Trevor Ariza and Martell (Webster) really helped me become a better leader and feel more comfortable around the team.”
So you were still uncomfortable handling that responsibility?
“Yes. I think so. I’m the one that always led by example on the basketball court. I let my game do the talking but as talking, I didn’t know how to talk to guys. I had to learn how to talk to certain guys on and off the court so they can respond in the right manner and the right way.”
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