The subtle occurrence, about to be slightly magnified by this blog’s humble reach, doesn’t mean much … unless you’re a fan of basketball nuance. And I’m assuming that you’re already a fan of John Wall, who recently made a small display that he would not be intimidated by Amar’e Stoudemire, ironically nicknamed “STAT” (standing tall and talented), even though he’s below average in a main big man stat category, rebounding.
It’s late in the first quarter in the Wizards’ October 17 preseason game against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Raymond Felton, foolishly, according to the television analysis of Walt “Clyde” Frazier on the MSG Network, thinks he can play big boy veteran and pressure Wall far away from the basket.
Foolish indeed. Wall can’t shoot and Raymond Felton is Raymond Felton. His 6’1″, 205 lbs. physique, while stout, simply cannot keep up with the size and speed of Wall.
Felton goes to pressure Wall out near the Knicks mid-court logo, perhaps partially to avoid a sensed screen from Yi Jianlian. Wall counters by going away from the screen and attacking Felton by trying to get by him. The ref blows the whistle, much to the chagrin of Felton — rookies ain’t supposed to get calls. Sorry buddy, this is John Wall. Felton goes to take issue with the ref nonetheless.
But the foul and resulting opinions aren’t the issue here. It’s what’s happens afterward. Wall, like many NBA players are wont to do, goes to shoot a post-whistle fadeaway, more meaningless than the meaningless preseason game in which it takes place.
The issue at hand arises when Stoudemire comes over in a vain attempt to intimidate the rook. Amar’e blocks Wall’s casual dead-ball jumper, then aligns his chest to rookie and puffs it with preseason bravado, mentally pissing in the area around him to let John know that he doesn’t run MSG, Amar’e does.
But Wall doesn’t care. Instead of shying away or walking in a different direction, he heads right toward Stoudemire, refusing to be intimidated. Their shoulders bump, absorbing just as much force from each other as they are trying to dish out.
And that’s it. That’s all that happens. Like I said, no biggie … but John Wall isn’t going to get played a chump either. Let’s take a look at the described scene in perpetual moving GIF form.
And then there are the bippity-boppity facial expressions of Danilo Gallinari. The GIFs below capture his impassioned pleas to the ref on another disputed call from the same game. Fun.