John Wall's big fourth-quarter performance in a win over the Knicks on Wednesday came in front of several notable people in the basketball world. Afterwards, Michael Lee caught up with three of them -- Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd and John Calipari -- to discuss Wall's progress.
Johnson was the most effusive in his praise. The former Lakers legend and current ESPN commentator compared Wall's progress to his own in a way.
"I was just telling Ted, ‘You know what's funny: I was in the same position as John,' " Johnson said. "I could get in there, I could run the fast break but they used to double off of me. I used to really take that personal, them slacking back off of me into Kareem's lap," Johnson said, referring to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Hall of Fame center.
"So I decided to just work on my shot. He's got to put the work in and once he does that, it becomes automatic."
Johnson also said that once Wall gets his jump shot down, he'll be "an all-star every year." Calipari concurred with Johnson, while Kidd suggested that Wall should learn how to change speeds better.
"He can get it to sixth gear and he's as fast as anybody with the ball. If you don't trust [your shot], it takes time, trial and error. When you see the success, you start to understand it's not always about being in sixth gear. I think it's just a matter of knowing when to use the gears and knowing, ‘I can be just as fast as anybody if I'm in fourth or fifth gear.' "
Kidd should know. He transformed himself into an excellent perimeter shooter after being known derisively as "Ason Kidd" for many years.