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Like Sue Bird is in Seattle, John Wall is a Tenacinator in the nation's capital

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They may not play in the same league, but John Wall does whatever it takes to lead the Washington Wizards to victory on and off the court, just like Sue Bird does for the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

L - Christian Petersen, NBA/Getty Images; R - Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports

I swear to God, I never thought that I would be writing multiple posts on the State Farm National Bureau of Assists after a commercial on Christmas Day 2014 when John Wall was inexplicably omitted from that group.

Then again, I never thought that I'd see Wall give a shout out to some notable State Farm player/agents last Saturday:

And I never thought that Wall would ask if he could join that same group during the All-Star Game, or see the Bureau warm up to him with my own Vine!:

So, State Farm asked us a question. Which agent does the #WallStar best relate to?

As we all know very well, Wall has always been a player who goes the extra mile to help the Washington Wizards and represent the nation's capital well. Whether on or off the court, he is relentless in his pursuit to win the right way and earn the support of fans everywhere. When you look at the five NBA/WNBA players or National Bureau of Assists members who Wall could identify with:

  • Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers / Cliff Paul, the "Visionary" - who is known for his impeccable foresight
  • Sue BirdSeattle Storm / Summer Bird, the "Tenacinator" - who is known for her tenacity, getting the job done, no matter what it takes
  • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors / Sebastian Curry, the "Professor" - who is known for being a smart player
  • Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers / Darius Lillard, the "Clutchman" - who is known for being the ultimate player, reliable, and cool under pressure
  • John StocktonNaismith Hall of Fame Player / Don Stockton, the "Legend" - who is known for his experience and wisdom

it becomes clear that he can most easily identify with Sue Bird -- or her twin Summer -- because they are "Tenacinators." I haven't seen a specific Summer Bird commercial yet (like those for CliffSebastian, or Don), so I don't know how good of a job Wall or his twin (Ron? Juan? Jimmy?) would do in the insurance office. So let's see how John Wall relates to Sue Bird instead.

Comparing John Wall and Sue Bird as basketball players

If you want to compare John Wall and Sue Bird based solely on how they play basketball, I'll admit that there will be some problems doing so.

First, they don't play in the same league: Wall's in the NBA and Bird's in the WNBA. Second, there's the age factor: Wall is 24 years old and is in his fifth NBA season, while Bird is 34 years old, and is entering her 13th WNBA season. Third, both Wall and Bird have different strengths when you look at their average career stats:

Player Team FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% FT/FGA PPG RPG APG SPG BPG USG%
John Wall Wizards 6.3 14.7 43.2% 0.6 2.0 30.8% 4.3 5.5 78.6% 37.3% 17.6 4.3 8.6 1.7 0.6 25.9%
Sue Bird Storm 4.5 10.6 42.8% 1.7 4.3 38.3% 1.7 2 86.4% 19.1% 12.5 2.7 5.4 1.4 0.1 20.4%

Since WNBA games are 40 minutes long instead of 48, let's also compare their Per-36 numbers so we can do a better statistical comparison:

Player Team PPG RPG APG SPG BPG OFF RT DEF RT
John Wall Wizards 17.5 4.3 8.6 1.7 0.6 104 105
Sue Bird Storm 13.7 3.0 5.9 1.5 0.1 106 100

*Wall's stats are current as of February 17, 2015. Bird's stats are current as of the end of the 2014 WNBA season. All stats are from Basketball-Reference.

From a purely statistical standpoint, Wall has been a better assister (hence why we want him on one of those commercials), defender (in particular with blocks), and a foul-drawer given how often he gets to the free throw line. Bird however has the edge on Wall when it comes to making three point shots. In addition, Bird is a more reliable free throw shooter than Wall is when she gets to the line.

Even though they have different strengths, that doesn't mean that Wall and Bird aren't using them to do whatever it takes to lead their teams to wins and represent their cities in similar ways. By doing so, they also wear other multiple State Farm agents' hats just as well. Why?

Both have a knack for making timely and flashy passes

As the NBA's lead assister at the All-Star Break with 546 total assists (10.1 per game) this season, Wall's going to have a lot of great passing highlights. In fact, he probably has so many to the point where we could dedicate one entire blog for it. But here's one no-look pass Wall made to Nene on the fast break back during the Wizards' February 9, 2015 win over the Orlando Magic:

(via the NBA's YouTube channel)

Bird has her fair share of passes as well. This was a nice no-look pass she made to an open Alysha Clark for her 2,000th career assist during an 87-82 loss to the San Antonio Stars. Bird is only one of two WNBA players (Ticha Penicheiro is the other) to have hit that mark:

(via the WNBA's YouTube channel)

When you see that both Wall and Bird have the foresight to pass the ball to the open man when others don't realize it, that shows you that both players are "Visionaries," like Chris Paul is known for being.

Both make clutch plays to lead their teams to victory

We all know that Wall is a pass-first point guard, but he's also a defensive force. Remember last season's game-saving block on Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry on February 27, 2014? It helped bring that game into triple overtime, which the Wizards eventually won:

(via the NBA's YouTube channel)

If you're looking for actual game winners, Wall has another assist up his sleeve when he passed to Nene for a buzzer beating slam dunk against the Pelicans on February 22, 2014. Sure, Nene made the points, but the slam dunk was the easy part:

(via the NBA's YouTube channel)

Bird has as much of the clutch gene in her as Wall does, but she prefers to make clutch shots.

In 2010, the Storm won the WNBA championship in convincing fashion, where they had a then-record 28-6 regular season and an undefeated 7-0 playoff run. During that run, Bird made the game-winning shot to clinch the Western Conference Championship against the Phoenix Mercury with 2.8 seconds left:

(via thecelebratedmister's YouTube channel)

But if that wasn't enough, she also made the game-winning shot against the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the Finals (2:35 mark of the video). In other words, she made two game-winning shots in consecutive playoff games:

(via sbfan2010's YouTube channel)

Now that you've seen the video tape, both Wall and Bird can wear Damian Lillard's "Clutchman" hat, whenever they feel like it.

Both can completely take over games when they have to

Being a good point guard isn't always about passing the ball. Sometimes, they have to take matters into their own hands.

Remember when Wall scored a career-high 47 points in a win against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 25, 2013? More often than not in that game, his teammates weren't feeling it, so he went straight to work:

(via the NBA's YouTube channel)

Bird has also taken over games many times in her long WNBA career. Below is a video where she dropped a game-high 25 points on the Washington Mystics during a road game on June 26, 2012. In that particular contest, Seattle was letting the lowly Mystics -- who were 5-29 that season -- hang around when they really shouldn't have. So Bird carried Seattle to a 79-71 win where she scored 8 of 9 Storm points during a late fourth quarter stretch:

(via sbfan2010's YouTube channel)

Both make a positive impact off the court

Wall has done plenty of charity work off the court, most notably his friendship with 6-year old Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, who was suffering from Burkitt's Lymphoma during the spring. Miyah would eventually get her wish which was to meet music star Nicki Minaj and get a pink wig. Unfortunately, she passed away, and Wall got emotional after a win over the Celtics on December 8:

(via the NBA's YouTube channel)

Last December, Bird visited Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, where she met the girls basketball team during a practice, along with Storm coaching staff. The high school was a site of a shooting on October 24, 2014 when one student killed four people, injured several others, and eventually himself.

Bird's appearance was unannounced to the team. Since it was, this had to be a pleasant surprise to the girls on Marysville-Pilchuck's team. After all, she's the franchise player on their city's professional basketball team:

(via the Seattle Storm's YouTube channel)

Even though John Wall and Sue Bird play in different leagues and have different strengths, they're both franchise players who deliver with their play on the court, and also are a positive influence to fans off the court in their respective cities.

Bird still wears some other State Farm Agents' hats that I don't think Wall has just yet. But that's only because she's older, or more experienced than Wall is. After over a decade of playing at the highest level in the WNBA, Team USA, and overseas, she too has earned her rank as a "Professor." And even though she hasn't retired yet, Bird's already a WNBA Legend, not unlike John Stockton is for the NBA. That may be why State Farm's National Bureau of Assists made her the "Tenacinator." She's a jill-of-all-trades when it comes to the assist in those quirky commercials.

Wall hasn't won a championship for the Wizards or played for Team USA in the Olympics just yet. But he's already a "Tenacinator" in his own right. And as he gains more experience in the league, he too could very well accomplish the same feats Bird has -- or maybe even more before we know it.

Note of disclosure: State Farm has partnered with SB Nation NBA to provide a series on which State Farm player/agent or characteristics that their team's players can identify with. To see other SB Nation NBA blogs' State Farm Assister articles, click here.