By Aron Phillips
Sometimes when you’re putting together an issue it takes on a life of its own. That’s definitely the case for Dime #66. Typically this would be our NBA Preview Issue, looking at all the stars and storylines for the upcoming year. But with the 2011-12 NBA season indefinitely on hold until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, a central theme began to arise while we were planning.
What we’ve dubbed The Breakout Issue features the rising stars from the NBA, college and high school ranks that are primed to breakout this season. Ever since our first issue 10 years ago, we’ve made it our mission to tell the stories that need to be told – not just the ones that we’re supposed to. And like that first issue with Allen Iverson on the cover, we’re leading off with a point guard that is poised to change the game as we know it, and become the NBA’s next breakout star: John Wall.
On three separate occasions, we spent time with Washington’s favorite son, getting unprecedented access with arguably the game’s most exciting player. And the scary thing is that he just celebrated his 21st birthday. After one season in the League – and a summer of destroying everyone that stood in his way to the rim – Wall has already entered the echelon of NBA point guards that includes the likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Russell Westbrook.
Four years ago, Wall was an unknown, unranked high school basketball player who drove 18 hours from Raleigh, N.C., to showcase his talents at the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Chicago. Thankfully for all of us, he’s primed to breakout again.