The media was allowed to watch John Wall participate in full-contract practice this afternoon, which gave everyone a chance to examine Wall as he gets back into shape. What most people weren't expecting was to see Wall sporting new shoes as he returned to the court. Several reporters picked up on this pretty quickly, though:
In case you had doubts, here's John Wall running PG in #wizards practice lockerz.com/s/275651280— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 9, 2013
In case you didn't notice, John Wall is wearing adidas, not Reebok. #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) January 9, 2013
John Wall is practicing in full today. He's also wearing Adidas shoes now that Reebok is out of the hoops shoe game. twitter.com/cmillscsn/stat…— Chris Miller (@cmillscsn) January 9, 2013
As Miller alludes to, Wall's new shoes appear to be part of Reebok moving out of the basketball business and letting their parent company, Adidas, handle all the basketball business, which explains Wall's shoe choice today.
I just got a confirmation that Reebok will no longer play in the performance basketball arena.John Wall to join @adidashoops.— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) January 9, 2013
While it certainly pales in comparison to everything else going on with Wall as he prepares to return and revitalize the Wizards, the Wall-to-Adidas storyline has its own subplots worth following.
- Where will Wall fall on the Adidas hierarchy? After being the unquestioned top dog at Reebok, he won't be the top name at Adidas. Obviously, he'll be behind Derrick Rose, who can sell shoes from the medical table, but who else? Dwight Howard and Josh Smith have more shoe selling power for sure, but you can make an argument either way once we start talking about how he compares with Eric Gordon or Tim Duncan.
- Will John Wall wear Derrick Rose's shoe? Let's hope not.
- What role did John Wall play in Reebok pulling out of the basketball business? It sure looked like Reebok was invested in Wall when they rolled out this campaign back in November, before people realized how much of the season John Wall would miss. Did Wall's delayed return put the final nail in the coffin for Reebok? Was this doomed earlier when Wall didn't play the way some expected him to play last season? Whatever the cause, it gives John Wall another chip to put on his shoulder as he makes his return to the court.
"When the John [Wall] conversation came up," says Krinsky, "it was, Moving forward, would he better better suited with our positioning or adidas' positioning? We kind of felt the adidas side, giving where they're going, would be a better home for him. So, we talked to him and made that decision."