John Wall’s superb leaping and finishing skills have been on full display this offseason, but he took his aerial acrobatics to new levels earlier this month at Chris Paul’s charity game in Winston-Salem, N.C. He tossed a ball off the wall and dunked, whirled the ball behind his back for another jam and did a two-handed 360-degree slam with relative ease.
Wall has already declared that he’s back to displaying the explosiveness he had before battling injuries as a rookie, and now he might attempt to go after Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Blake Griffin’s crown as the reigning slam dunk champion. At the launch for his new Reebok Zig Encore shoe and apparel line on Wednesday at a Foot Locker in New York, Wall said he is considering entering the slam dunk contest during All-Star Weekend.
“Yeah I’m thinking about it,” Wall said during a question and answer session hosted by famed DJ and radio host Funkmaster Flex and transcribed by the Web site IamGM.com. “Maybe this year or next year I’ll probably enter the dunk contest.”
Of course, the NBA would have to have a season before it has an All-Star Game, and the labor dispute remains unsolved in the 112th day of the lockout. Wall has already complained about NBA commissioner David Stern — and not just because he has already lost $455,000 with the first two weeks of the regular season canceled.
With dominant performances at several locations around the country, Wall feels that he is “hot right now” and wants to show the rest of the league how much he has improved. “I want to take the next step to being a superstar, to be an all-star, that’s my goal this year, so I’m working on my jumpshot and everything else,” Wall said, adding that he has to make at least 2,000 jumpers a day.
The entire Q&A is pretty interesting, with Wall sharing a story about his first encounter with former Georgetown star and lifetime Reebok endorser Allen Iverson, listing his favorite music, and explaining how he maintains his confidence on the court. “I’m scared of nobody,” he said. “When I step on the court, we all play basketball the same way. It’s just, that person might be better than you but if you let anybody know that they’re better than you they’re going to take full advantage. Just go out there and play basketball like he a regular person, that’s how I play.”
He also had a response to the ESPN.com NBA player rankings, which listed him as the 40th best player in the league. He and JaVale McGee (No. 99) were the only Wizards in the top 100. “I still have a lot to improve. I wanna be hot; I wanna be the best point guard, just takes hard work and dedication. I’m not mad, the rankings are what they are, can’t control them as long as I reach my goal.”