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It’s time for John Wall to get another signature shoe

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In Wednesday night’s season-opening victory for the Washington Wizards, John Wall was seen wearing Oklahoma City star forward Paul George’s signature shoes (PG1’s).

Wall has been Washington’s star for quite some time now and the 27-year old, four-time All-Star has had his own shoe before. So why is he stuck wearing other people’s shoes?

Well, Wall originally inked a deal with Reebok before his rookie season, but midway through his third season, Wall ventured to Adidas, Reebok’s mother brand. He would wear the Crazyquick 2’s the rest of that season, and then his received his own signature shoe with the John Wall 1’s. The following season, he got his second signature shoe, the Wall 2’s.

His contract ended with Adidas in September 2015, after Wall rejected Adidas’ offer to pay him $7.5 million per year. According to The Vertical’s Nick DePaula, Wall wanted a deal similar to the 13-year, $200 million deal James Harden had received from Adidas just a month before.

Since his deal expired, Wall has worn Nike most of the time but he isn’t exclusive to them. For example, he opted for Buscemi basketball shoes during warmups before the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.

Why He Deserves a Deal

Wall has continued to be a stalwart in the Washington D.C. area. He has been a prime-time player, as well as a prime-time philanthropist. He’s the kind of guy that’s easy to market around.

They ask me who I do it for....Why I shine, Why I grind the way I do.... #mommasboy #THISISWHYIPLAY

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He’s also played extremely well on the court. He just put together the best season of his career and has continued to build a legacy in D.C. He averaged 23.1 points per game, 10.7 assists per game and 2.0 steals per game last season, all career-highs. He also agreed to a contract extension with the Wizards before the season that will keep him in town for at least five years.

"I banked on myself to have a season like this,” Wall said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington after last season. “To be honest, I banked on myself. I just feel like somebody is gonna come [asking]. If not, I will still be a sneaker free agent. I feel like with the way I’m playing, the type of image I have, the character I have, how I interact with the fans in the community, I think I’m the perfect guy for a signature shoe."

A commitment to the city of Washington and a commitment to changing the organization from a wallowing one, to a team that prides itself on its playoff appearances: that’s the Wall way. The shoe deal wouldn’t be charity because he’s earned it. He has done everything that should be required for a player to secure his own signature sneaker.

There are other players who have been just as successful as Wall who have shoe deals. Paul George and Damian Lillard are prime examples of players in small markets who have reached a similar level of success, but have their own signature shoe deals.

Lillard, in particular, has made a name for himself by branding himself as an underdog who gives back to the community, just like Wall. Even though he plays in a smaller market (Portland is ranked 24th in the U.S.), he has had a signature shoe with Adidas for several years. By comparison, Wall plays in the seventh-largest market in the U.S. in Washington. Why can’t he do the same thing on a bigger platform?

Wall was on the wrong end of a bad deal to start his career and didn’t get the deal he originally hoped for when he hit sneaker free agency. Still, he shouldn’t have to spend the rest of his career without a signature shoe. If shoe companies cannot see that and capitalize off of Wall’s success, they are missing out on a gold mine.