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NBA All-Star 2014: John Wall gets an invite to the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge

Nov 26, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) dunks the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This week turned out to be pretty good for John Wall, eh?

After getting named to the NBA All-Star team for the first time in his career, John Wall will get the opportunity to represent the Wizards in both the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend, according to CSN Washington.

CSN Washington’s, J.Michael, sat down with John Wall right after learning about his first All-Star selection. Here’s a quick snippet from their interview, highlighting invites to both events:

Have you been asked by the league to participate in the dunk or skills contest on Saturday before the game itself? 

Yes, both I’ll make decisions tomorrow or sometime next week. They have asked me. I’m not sure. I don’t know what I’ll do yet. I’m shocked after the news I got tonight so I can’t even tell you.

Wall obviously still hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll participate in either event, but if I had to guess, I think we’ll see him in both competitions. Unlike a lot of All-Star players, John Wall hasn’t gotten much recognition since getting drafted first overall out of Kentucky. He hasn’t been showcased in All-Star games, commercials, or even video games like a lot of other superstar players in the NBA.

Ironically enough, the folks over at WizardsXTRA of Monumental Network, recently wrote a piece about ways John Wall could get more popular, possibly increasing his chances of getting selected to future events. One of the key suggestions listed in the piece includes having John Wall participate in future All-Star competitions that help players gain notoriety. For instance, the Dunk Contest is probably the most anticipated competition during All-Star weekend and it’s helped propel players into different levels of popularity. Blake Griffin became a household name after he was featured in the Dunk Contest, ultimately winning the competition by jumping over the hood of a Kia.

Indiana Pacers forward, Paul George, supposedly turned down an invite to the Dunk Contest earlier this week, so it wouldn’t surprise me if John Wall goes the same route. If I were his agent, I’d urge John Wall to participate in both events, because he honestly has nothing to lose. If John Wall wins, he’ll instantly become popular amongst casual fans instead of continuously flying under the radar. If he loses, then well, he lost a contest that doesn’t have much meaning behind it. Besides, the runners up of any All-Star competition are rarely ridiculed. The winners get the praise, and I’m sure John Wall has the tools to shock some people with his dunking ability.

Regardless, I’m glad John Wall is getting a shot at competing during the All-Star weekend. He’s been the best point guard in the Eastern Conference and he deserves the recognition he’s finally getting. Let’s hope he decides to participate in the events, because it’d definitely be fun having a Wizard represent the team on such a big stage.

Topics: Dunk Contest, Dunk Contest Participants, John Wall, Nba All-star 2014, Nba All-star Game, Nba Dunk Contest, Nba News, NBA Skills Challenge, NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Washington Wizards

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