For guys like John Wall, there would be no greater honor than to represent the United States on the world’s largest platform for basketball.
After competing with a plethora of other elite young guards during Team USA mini-camp, John Wall tried to separate himself from the group by doing the little things which might turn some heads and catch people’s eye. Wall understands that he doesn’t have the shooting ability Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Ty Lawson and even Jrue Holiday possess, but he also realizes there are other aspects of the game which he could leave a long lasting impression on USA’s coaching staff.
I just tried to be aggressive, Wall said. It’s kind of tough to be aggressive when you got so many talented players, so my job wasn’t to go out there to score. Just to set everybody up and run the team as much as possible. I was just coming in and being a leader, playing my role as a point guard and help my team as much as possible and just try to do the same thing that a lot of guys in the past did, that played for the Olympic team.
Irving, Lawson, Lillard and Holiday can all put the ball in the basket, but Wall is clearly the best distributor of the group, and his focus remained on trying to get his teammates involved during the USA Showcase, which took place this past Thursday night. At 6’4, Wall is a lot bigger than most point guards on the international level and will try to use his size to separate himself defensively from the rest of the competition.
My job was just to pressure the ball, try to play defense. I’m bigger than most guys at my position and I’m athletic, so I made the job tough on those guys. I think my defense, is really going to separate me and how I set up my teammates. That’s the best thing I really can do and just remember the plays and try to get them in the best position.
Mike Krzyzewski, USA’s head coach, wants to implement a transition offense during the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Cup, which would cater to some of the younger guards’ abilities on the floor. USA basketball has always been overwhelmingly talented, but we’ve never seen this many talented guards compete for spots on the national team. USA basketball chairman, Jerry Colangelo, spoke a bit about the influx of young guards he’ll have to choose from for these upcoming world events, stating;
No doubt about the fact that we’re strong in the back court. So at the end of the day, when we go through our process, it’s going to be tough coming up with who is and who isn’t.
John Wall has to have a Russell Westbrook-like effect during the USA workouts if he truly wants to leave his mark on some of the coaching staff. Like Westbrook, shooting isn’t Wall’s greatest attribute, which will undoubtedly make it harder for Wall to make the national team in 2014.
International basketball is centered around perimeter shooting, but Wall can bring spurts of energy off the bench to push USA to the next level. Wall has the leadership asset and could take command of the floor, which not every point guard on the roster could necessarily do.
For the first time in a very long time, we actually might have a Washington Wizard representing the United States on a global platform. We’ve seen players take dramatic leaps after working with the elite coaching staff and personnel USA offers, and Wall has the chance to take a similar step forward.