It’s been a pretty great week for John Wall. He agreed to a massive extension that will pay him like the star he is, players around the league congratulated him for his big deal, and from the looks of things, he’s getting love from national fans as well.
ESPN Radio’s Twitter page recently ran a poll on who was the best player among the trio of John Wall, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard. Wall won, grabbing 52 percent of the vote. Irving was second with 31 percent and Lillard finished third with 17 percent.
Wall has constantly improved over the course of his career and last season, we were witnesses to the culmination of his hard work. Last season, he posted career-highs in points per game (23.1), assists per game (10.7), steals per game (2.0), effective field goal percentage (48.2 percent), field goal percentage (45.4 percent), free throw attempts per game (6.8) and free throws per game (5.4). He was also named to the All-Star Game for the fourth time in his career and selected All-NBA Third Team.
As the first overall draft pick of the Wizards in 2010, Wall was seen as a raw player with extreme potential. From the criticism about his on-court fun, to the criticisms of his play, Wall was scrutinized many times earlier on in his career. But he has risen to the challenge and proved the doubters wrong, especially in the playoffs, where he’s averaged 21.1 points, 9.5 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
In the cases of Irving and Lillard, they are both great players in their own regard. Irving is an NBA champion. He also has appeared in four All-Star Games, like Wall. Since the return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, Irving’s ability has been magnified. However, since being rumored to wanting to leave Cleveland, Irving’s act has soured on some fans and possibly James himself.
Lillard has been named to the All-Star Game twice, played in the same amount of playoff games as Wall (31). In addition to these accomplishments, Lillard was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2016 and the All-NBA Third Team in 2014. He has been a stalwart for a Portland Trailblazers franchise since the 2012-13 season.
The poll results show just how much Wall’s perception has improved around the league, especially in the last year or so as the Wizards have emerged as a strong team in the East. His strong play has overcome whatever concerns people may have had about him not having a shoe deal, or playing on a team that doesn’t get many national TV appearances.
Wall also got some love from the league, who release this really awesome mixtape of his best highlights from last season. It’s a great way to relive his best moments from a banner season.