The Beyond the Wall blog, here at johnwall2.com, caught up with John Wall this summer in an exclusive three-part interview. Below is Part III, focusing on Wall’s experience in the NBA.
Beyond The Wall: What’s the most difficult thing as a point guard in the NBA?
John Wall: Well, When you lose, turn the ball over, you ain’t got nothin’ to blame but you. The second thing is, you gotta learn how to talk to certain types of teammates. Some teammates you can yell at, certain teammates you might have to whisper in they ear and talk to them because some of them might get very upset. That’s one thing I had to learn and that’s how you keep improving as a point guard.
BTW: What about the toughest guard you’ve played against in the NBA?
Wall: I’d probably say Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook just because they’re so athletic so it’s mostly, they’re the leader of their teams, they have to score a lot of points, so, they also have to get everybody involved and they also gotta create they own shots, so they’re probably the toughest I’ve played against.
BTW: What is your favorite part about playing in the NBA?
Wall: First thing is, I love the game so much it’s a great opportunity to meet my goal and my dream come true to play in the NBA and the second part is, I got one of the toughest positions every night, I gotta go against great point guards. High school, college, you might have someone that’s mediocre. In the NBA, everybody’s there for a reason.
BTW: If you couldn’t play for the Wizards, would you retire or go to another team?
Wall: I probably would retire, I want to be a Wizard for the rest of my career.
BTW: What’s it like going up against the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant?
Wall: It’s great. My first time playing Kobe, I blocked his shot, so that was awesome I’ll always remember that. But, those are two of the best players in the game. Just seeing those guys, seeing how hard they work, watching them work out, playing against them motivates you.
BTW: Who’s you favorite WNBA player?
Wall: Candice Parker or Diana Taurasi
BTW: If you could add one player to your team, who would you add?
Wall: I’d add Demarcus Cousins, I like him as a big man, and he’s like a brother to me, so that’s one person I’d like to add to my team.
BTW: Can you beat Bradley Beal in a three-point contest?
Wall: Yes I beat him during Summer League earlier this summer.
BTW: Who’s the hardest defender you’ve had to go up against and why?
Wall: I’d say Avery Bradley because he plays 94 feet and he doesn’t get tired. He got great lateral quickness. I played him in high school like 4 times. He’s probably one of the best ones that’s played against me, but, it doesn’t work (smiles).
BTW: What veterans, on the Wizards or anywhere, have given you the best advice over the years and what type of advice did they give you?
Wall: When I started I got advice from a lot of people. I got advice from LeBron a lot. Rashard Lewis was one of the best vets I had and one of the best veterans I know. We talk, he always keeps me motivated. Other guys too though. Kevin Durant, for instance.
BTW: How does Rashard Lewis shoot so well despite, errr, how should I say this, his “unconventional” shooting form?
Wall: [Laughs] Hey man, it doesn’t matter how your form looks, as long you get your reps up and you really work. That’s what he does.
BTW: In speaking of stretch fours, how do you feel about Al Harrington being on the team?
Wall: I like Al Harrington a lot. Every time we play the Nuggets, when he was there, he always had big games against us. I think he’s a great veteran and a great teammate, I’ve been talking to him throughout the whole process. He’s one of those players that is going to bring depth to our team at the 4 position and he also can pick-and-pop and that’s something we needed to add to our team.
BTW: The NBA is slowly becoming more stats-driven. To what extent is that something your coaches talk about? Are there any guys on the Wiz, who are interested in it the way Shane Battier is said to be?
Wall: I wouldn’t say there’s anyone like that, necessarily, but last year everyone—coaches and players–was really focused on knowing the game plan. Coach would ask us random questions and we had to come up with answers on the spot. You gotta look into those things, and we watch a lot of film
BTW: Are any of the players resistant to it?
Wall: I could see how that’d happen, but it doesn’t happen with us. It’s always good to remind yourself what you need to work on.
BTW: Let’s talk about fouling for a second. Guys like Dwight or Andre Drummond get intentionally fouled because they can’t shoot free throws. Other guys like LeBron, you, get clobbered because the defense doesn’t want to give up the easy two. Do you think the league could develop rules to prevent injuries and make the game flow better? Is that something that matters to you?
Wall: It doesn’t matter to me. The game is physical. You gotta take your hits and bruises. The whole season. That’s part of the NBA. And in the playoffs it gets even rougher. I haven’t been there yet, but I watch them, obviously, and I know that no matter the time of season it’s something you gotta play through.
By Izzy Gainsburg, NCLUSIVEsports