John Wall's quotes in this Michael Lee story following Thursday's Team USA scrimmage make it seem like his maximum contract from the Washington Wizards is indeed a foregone conclusion. He never confirmed that the deal was done, but lines like this make you think he's been preparing these answers for a while:
But he is prepared for the level of scrutiny that will trump anything he has faced as a top high school prospect, a standout college player at Kentucky and the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft.
"I'm ready for anything," Wall said. "I feel like how I'm working this summer and how I felt last season that I knew what it'd take and when I finally got healthy, and I'm putting everything into my game. I'm always improving and I always had challenges growing up and nothing was ever given to me. I always earned it, so I'm willing to do that."
More importantly: Wall said he's "more confident" than he's ever been as a basketball player, which makes sense considering his professional team is valuing him at the highest possible level they can. He confirmed that he's working out with trainer Rob McClanaghan for the second straight summer and even said he's hired a personal chef for his meals. Clearly, he's working hard to stay at the level he was at in the second half of last season.
But now, the pressure is higher. Can Wall handle it?
More from Bullets Forever:
- John Wall, Wizards near agreement on 5-year maximum contract extension
- What we must talk about when we talk about John Wall's max contract
- John Wall provides highlights, but some lowlights in Team USA scrimmage
- What is continuity worth to the Washington Wizards?
- NBA free agency 2013: The frontcourt flotsam problem