"Basically I don't want to miss practice or anything like that, feel like I'm bigger than anybody," Wall said Wednesday afternoon. "The ESPYs were a great chance, I would love to be there, but there's more time down the future to get there. Right now I'm a rookie, so I need to be with my teammates, trying to get better every chance that I can. If I would have left, then they maybe would have looked where I was or I asked where I was. It wouldn't have been the right place and the right situation. So I told the ESPN people thanks for the nominations, and thank God, but I had this and this is more important. This is my job. That comes secondary to what I'm trying to do."
Wall clearly knows his role as a leader and his #1 priority is becoming the most valuable player he can be. I am not sure man-crush goes far enough to describe how I feel about this. Marry my sister? Marry me? I mean seriously, it's summer league practice! What 19-year old passes up parties, beautiful women, and fun for a morning summer league practice?!? The last face of Reebok clearly would have made the ESPYs.
Seriously! Not a game, we talkin' about practice. Maybe you can blame the scheduling, but Wall's maturity was echoed throughout the games; he just isn't wired the same way as other guys. As Bullets Forever noticed, in the 2nd game of the summer league, Wall scolded Javale McGee after a nice fadeaway jump hook because the Veil of Cashmere didn't throw down a dunk on Wall's initial lob, and later gave Young Sushi no love for hitting dumb 3-pointer. You would think that 3 years in the league would give McGee and Young Sushi a huge maturity edge over the 19-year old, but Wall is the one who 'gets it'. He is already the best player in the Vegas Summer League, but knows he has a lot to learn, recognizing that he expects more from himself. Not only does he continue to emphasize a need to improve and learn in every interview, but he is showing a high basketball IQ, and strong leadership qualities.
I know, he had a lot of turnovers, a 4-19 game, and Marco Bellinelli torched summer league, but Wall is going to be great. I never had concerns about his upside, but seeing and hearing how he is wired is something special. Kobe and MJ have a competitive drive and view towards basketball that is different from other players and that is why they are both so great. I am not sure that Wall has the competitive at all costs mentality of those two, but he clearly is wired in a way that makes him more likely to reach his potential than almost any other player in the NBA. I knew we had something special on our hands when we won the lottery, but didn't realize how special.
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