Brooklyn Nets veteran and longtime NBA star Jerry Stackhouse has emerged as mentor figure for John Wall thanks to their time playing in North Carolina over the summer. But as Stackhouse told Scott Cacciola of The New York Times, that didn't happen right away:
"He was coming down every time, forcing shots, nobody else touching the ball - and his teammates were wide open," said Stackhouse, one of those teammates. "I was like, ‘You have got to move the basketball.' He got a little upset and said something back to me."
Stackhouse added, "I was like, ‘Who do you think you're talking to?' "
He said he was still upset - "smoke coming out of my ears" - when Wall found him in the parking lot after the game. Wall apologized, and Stackhouse said that meant something to him. It was a sign that Wall, who had grown up in a tough Raleigh neighborhood, had the potential to lead.
We've seen firsthand that Wall has a tendency to go for highlight plays when not checked, so Stackhouse's anecdote makes sense. The good news is that Wall seemed to recognize the error of his ways and worked quickly to correct it.
It remains to be seen whether Wall actually fulfills his promise, but Stackhouse, who has seen it all, seems to believe.