Gary Payton called it a few years ago when he discussed the progression of John Wall as a then-soon-to-be elite defender in the NBA, relating it to his very own as a superstar for the Seattle Sonics. A man once coined “The Glove” for his superior defense, Payton gloated about Wall’s development as a defender. GP mentioned that it took about five seasons for him to reach the stature of an elite defender and based on his observations of Wall’s defense, he had assumed the same progression for Wall. Yesterday, John Wall earned All-Defensive Second Team honors for the 2014-15 season, and GP’s forecast could not have been any more spot on.
Since his professional debut five seasons ago, John Wall has been attributed to an otherworldly, transcendent athletic dexterity that has gradually catapulted him into the reigns of the league’s elite, not just as a point guard, but as an overall player. The speed, the vision, the setting up of his teammates, the dishing. As of this season, even the jump shot has become respectable. But what often gets unintentionally overlooked, or just not credited enough, is the prowess of a player’s defense.
More so than offense, to be a good defender requires a concerted will and commitment to succeed. It requires putting your body on the line. It requires the utmost alertness and attentiveness. Sacrifice. Yes! Sacrifice. When a player is recognized for their efforts on defense – on any level – their reputation as an athlete is one that puts their team first, at the expense of all else. Their value as a player dedicated to the betterment of their team becomes insurmountable.
We’ve Vine’d a ton of John Wall, and to celebrate his latest career milestone as an elite defender, we bring you his 10 best defensive moments from this past season. Trust me, after perusing through so many of these Vines, watching a compilation of John destroying his opponents as a defender will create a whole different sense of appreciation for him. Please, enjoy.
Wall plays hacks-a-ball with Luol Deng (Bonus Footage: he then warps through two Miami defenders for the profiting layup)
Do you know what ‘nemesis’ means?
A righteous infliction of retribution
Manifested by an appropriate agent…” — Brick Top from ‘Snatch’