The fine folks at BallIsLife, Slam and every other high school basketball hype outlet owe John Wall a debt they could never repay.
Highlight tapes have drawn in the masses since Michael Jordan sold VHS tapes in the early 90s. John Wall did not invent the phenomenon. He just showed content creators that there is money to be made on YouTube.
Before YouTube, EBaums World was the place to watch videos. They were mostly dumb, quick hitters that did not take long to load, yet you could spend hours clicking through the masses. Early YouTube had a similar feel, with the Numa Numa guy and Chocolate Rain gaining millions of views. YouTube wasn’t just for idiots once Wall’s highlight reel surfaced.
This wasn’t just a “highlight reel.” Wall had a “Hoop Mixtape” with one incredible play after another. It’s four minutes of non-stop “WTF did he just do?” moments. Every Kentucky fan alive in 1992 remembers where they were when Laettner hit “The Shot,” just like I remember exactly where I was when I first saw John Wall’s Mixtape: at my AAU teammate’s house in-between two games. We watched it three times in a row, desperately trying to pick which play was our favorite, before it was time to go.
More than a decade later, John Wall Official Hoopmixtape still drops jaws with more than 9.6 million views.
On second thought, I take it all back. Wall’s mixtape is second to Ryan Lemond’s 1997 rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s classic.