Five years into the Calipari era, we’re just starting to see Cal’s first group of Kentucky recruits come into their own in the NBA. After winning the Slam Dunk contest and playing in the All-Star Game this weekend, John Wall is having his national spotlight moment. In fact, Grantland’s Chris Ryan says Wall was the winner of All-Star weekend for not only his incredible performances, but his poise during a difficult time:
I know Irving won the MVP award, but it was hard not to think of this as Wall’s weekend. After he was snubbed (I said it) by Team USA when he didn’t get an invite to the 28-man roster of players who will compete for spots in the FIBA World Cup and the next Olympic Games, it looked as if Wall were on the outside, looking in on basketball’s elite. As if there were still some sort of “Not Ready for Prime-Time” sign hanging around his neck.
This weekend, he lit that sign on fire. No, winning the dunk contest — especially one as convoluted as this one — isn’t the kind of thing that makes a career. But it put Wall in the spotlight, and he handled it incredibly well.
Wall’s mother is currently in the hospital because of fluid build-up in her lungs, and considering how close she and her son are, Wall’s poise this weekend was just as impressive as any dunk.
Check out the rest of Ryan’s comments about Wall and his other winners and losers from All-Star Weekend by clicking the link below.