John Wall has been on an absolute tear ever since returning from a knee injury which sidelined him for the first half of the NBA season. In the 39 games in which Wall has participated in this season, he’s averaging 17.3 points, 7.6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. Such a high level of play has drawn the attention of respected peers. Who are these admirers? They’re no other than former Sonic great, Gary Payton, and former Magic coach, Stan Van Gundy.
In an interview conducted this week by Grantland’s Holly MacKenzie, Payton mentioned that he’d been asked by Wall on how to improve his defense. “He tweeted me and asked for my number and I called him and we’ve been tight ever since. He’s a kid where I like him because he called me to ask me how to get better at playing defense and how to become a good point guard.”
Wall even earned the admiration of former critic, Stan Van Gundy. Though he still has his criticisms. “I think that he has proven me wrong in terms of his value to a team. I’m still not sure he’s enough to build a team around, but if you could put a great offensive player around him, then possibly that could be enough to start pushing this team to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.”
The entire story on Wall, written by USA Today’s Geoff Burke, can be found here.