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John Wall wore Nike sneakers in game for first time because of sprained foot

(Chris Young/The Canadian Press via Associated Press)

TORONTO –  Washington Wizards point guard John Wall recorded another standout performance against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, posting 19 points, 11 assist and seven rebounds in 41 minutes, though it came in a 94-91 loss.

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It was a fitting conclusion to one of Wall’s best months in the NBA. The two-time all-star averaged 22.6 points, 11.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 15 December games. But there was something different about Wall on Wednesday: For the first time in his career, Wall wore a pair of Nikes – red and white Kobe 10s, to be exact — in a game.

Wall’s shoe deal with Adidas, which they picked up from Reebok, expired on Sept. 30 and though he has worn Nikes regularly at practice this season, he still used his signature Adidas sneakers in games because was paid royalties.

After Wednesday’s defeat, Wall explained that the decision wasn’t a fashion statement. The 25-year-old point guard revealed that he recently began experiencing discomfort in his left foot, in the same spot where he sustained a sprain his rookie season, which forced him to miss a handful of games. He wore the Nikes on Wednesday to see if they could alleviate the pain.

“It depends,” Wall said when asked if he’s going to continue wearing Nike. “My foot was a little sore so we’re just trying to get some stuff situated and figured out. I could go back to my old ones or some other ones. We’ll figure it out. But my foot, where I had my foot sprain, started to get a little sore so I had to find something else.”

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The sore left foot is just the latest on a long list of maladies Wall has played through this season. Among the injuries: a sprained right ankle, a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, a bruised right knee and bruised ribs. Wall said he decided to wear a low-tops because they’re better for sprained ankles.

Despite the excess of ailments, Wall hasn’t missed a game this season because the Wizards have been severely depleted for much of the campaign and are currently without Bradley Beal (leg), Nene (calf), Gary Neal (quad), Drew Gooden III (calf) and Alan Anderson (ankle).

Wall has carried the undermanned Wizards over the last month after a forgettable start to the season. The point guard has tallied at least 11 assists in eight straight contests and fell a point shy on Wednesday of his 12th 20-plus point effort of the month, though the 11 is still a career best.