The Big Easy? About John Wall Dunkin’ and Kickin’ at NBA All-Star Weekend
John Wall, NBA All-Star? Why, yes, clearly.
John Wall, All-Star dunker? Hmmm…..
Well, he can dunk. There are several Vines from this season in this post that will support that. But is he a dunk contest dunker? Call me skeptical … but ready to be proven wrong.
Wall is a supreme athlete, no question. But his hops have never stood out to me as “above the rim.” He might be agile enough to pull off something creative, with help, but his jams often seem more a result of extending his limbs rather than doing what comes natural as he avoids hitting his head on the rim.
But with the dunk contest parameters once again being tinkered with (this year’s format does elevate the potential for more entertainment), what might happen could be part Wild West, part negligible fun. (As in, who cares if John Wall wins just as long as he’s part of it? … And, I’d personally rather see him on this stage than the Skill Competition, which Wall did in 2011 (Stephen Curry won), and which can be mundane in comparison to traditionalist expectation. We want scoring! We want jams! We want 3-pointer Rack City!)
But enough of all that, let’s get down to business:
What will John Wall be wearing? (How red carpet!)
What are his chances to be “Dunker of the Night”? (Or whatever.)
Immediately below you will find pictures of the “New Orleans-inspired” adidas Crazyquick 2, which will debut on the feet of John Wall and Damian Lillard during the 63rd NBA All-Star game on Sunday, Feb. 15, in New Orleans. (At the bottom of this post you will find pictures of the new adidas Crazyquick 8, which some players will be wearing during Saturday night’s festivities; although it is unconfirmed if Wall will.)
After the pics, TAI’s Conor Dirks and John Converse Townsend will weigh-in on Wall’s chances, and his shoes. Then, you will vote on such with what some call “feelings,” and then you will watch Vines of Wall dunking that will likely make the fan of your computer work overtime.
Enjoy. It is all very bloggy.
(And please do also note that TAI’s me (@Truth_About_It) will be down in New Orleans covering the festivities. So the shoes you see, as many might note, could continue to remind you of that time that Jackson Pollock let his kid experiment with a single color of paint; or it could remind you of that time you saw a guy throw up on Bourbon Street after drinking several hand-grenades and slurping down cracked-open glow sticks.)
When John Wall takes the court for the Slam Dunk contest, he will debut a shoe that resembles the mixed-seed lovechild of a ménage à trois between Hi-C Ecto Cooler, Capri Sun, and a randomly selected (that’s how these parties go, honey) orange juice brand. But the Jackson Pollock paint-splatter look (technically an homage to the “celebratory spirit of Mardi Gras”), with an embedded, almost subconscious, Borf-esque underpinning isn’t necessarily as aesthetically complex as this string of references makes it out to be. It’s a shoe that almost commits to dual-color zag foam before saying “&$#% it, splash some paint on there and grab some beads, we’re riding the Orpheus Krewe float.”
What are Wall’s chances in the dunk contest? That’s an even murkier question than it would be in years past. The new format means Wall’s chance of “winning” has more to do with how well he, Terrence Ross, and Paul George perform as a team (all three members of the winning conference will be named “Slam Dunk Contest champions”). By that measure, I think he’s one of three favorites to be one of three Slam Dunk Contest champions, if that makes sense.
His chance at individual glory is tied to the curious incident of the dunker in the night-time … ahem, sorry, the “Dunker of the Night,” which, like so many abhorrent things (All-Star starters and American Idol among them), is based on fan voting. Maybe it’s my level of exposure, or maybe it’s the knowledge that Wall gets up for these kinds of things (never forgive the deplorable Greg Monroe for stealing Wall’s shine and showmanship with a too-serious basketball play in the rookie-sophomore game), but I think Wall makes a case (the case, even) for the individual accolade only to be out-voted by TNT-only basketball viewers who have heard of this “Paul George” fellow.
John Converse Townsend.
Before we discuss John Wall’s All-Star weekend, let’s quickly talk about Vincent Van Gogh, a man who feared God, hated mistakes (REPETITIONS!) and loved contrasting hues (and at least one prostitute).
“You discover more clearly that van Gogh was a very methodical artist, which runs counter to the general myth that he was a manic, possibly slightly deranged man who just spontaneously threw paint at the canvas,” Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Rüger recently told the New York Times, speaking about a decade-long scientific analysis of the painter’s work.
Van Gogh had this theory about color… If you were to mix two primary colors, say, red and blue to make purple, that purple would be best complemented by the color on the other side of the wheel: yellow. Combine red and yellow to make orange, and your best accent would be the blue across from it. You see this theory at play in the works of art that we protect, in places like Rüger’s museum in Amsterdam, as well as in the design and color schemes of sports teams everywhere, in all leagues.
With that in mind, from an artistic perspective, the adidas kicks that Wall will debut in New Orleans are money. His dunk contest shoe: a bright orange canvas speckled with a blue that pops like Alexis Bledel’s eyes, and trimmed with a neon green. His All-Star game sneaker: an intimidating black, laced with a presidential red and a splash of bright green—a perfect color wheel combo.
Simply, in theory, masterpieces. In practice and execution, they look nothing at all like Van Gogh’s portraits of postman Joseph Roulin and more like catastrophes constructed from with beautiful individual features… Pretty much how Mary Shelley painted Frankenstein’s monster.
These shoes I would not buy. If I were to ask a kindergartener, or a dog, to step into oversized adidas high-tops and dance in paint (suppose the dog would listen), we’d end up with a similar product. But hey, at least they’re not ZigTech Reeboks!
As for his chances in the popularity contest known as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, well … he’s lucky he’ll be teamed up with the Cornfield Prince Paul George and Terrence Ross, the 2013 dunk contest winner.
I’m assuming the NBA will match players by position in the “Battle Round,” which would mean Wall will have to out-dunk fan favorite Damian Lillard, who will be participating in all five All-Star events and seems to be attracting a cult following of basketball fans who love game-winning shots.
Wall could steal some bonus points from the judges for left-handed slams (his preferred method of dunk deposit) and has the edge over Lillard in terms of explosiveness, but his smaller, and perhaps more creative, #QuickAintFair brother can throw down with some power, too.
Even if Wall loses to Lillard one-on-one, I like the Eastern Conference trio to win it, and for Wall to walk away as a Slam Dunk Contest champion.
Some Wall Dunk Vines…
adidas Crazyquick 8s
Some More Wall Dunk Vines…
- 3-on-3: Wall and Beal Cut from Team USA, Cassell’s Depature, and Continued #KSlife
- Drew Gooden for Team Finland at the FIBA World Cup? Plus Other Wizards and Ex-Wizards
- Sam Cassell Leaves Washington for LA Clippers, Will Be Missed by Wizards
- Marcin Gortat on Love, Loneliness, and the Polish Struggle