John Wall Talks Shop at Summer League | Wizards Blog Truth About

John Wall Talks Shop at Summer League

Updated: July 11, 2016

John Wall, NBA TV, Washington Wizards, Truth About It, Adam McGinnis

During the third quarter of Washington’s summer league loss to Atlanta, John Wall was interviewed by the NBA TV crew covering the game. The All-Star guard was analytical, funny, and candid on a variety of topics. Below is a transcript of his conversation with Steve Smith and Kevin Calabro.

On his current status:

“I am feeling great, I had surgery this summer, on Cinco de Mayo. I have been rehabbing, trying to prepare myself to play 82 games this season.”

On Scott Brooks: 

“He wants us to be a defensive-minded team, get back to where we were two years ago—a team that moves the ball and shares the ball on the offensive end.”

On the disappointing 2015-16 season and communicating expectations: 

“That is the toughest part. When you go (to the postseason) two years in a row, getting into the second round—we feel like we had an opportunity to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals (in 2015), then to a year where we dealt with a lot more injuries and not making the playoffs. That’s something you don’t want to do.

“I told all the guys, I don’t care about individual accolades. I care about making the playoffs, giving it a run. You never know what can happen. Injuries can happen. You can just have a hot run. You seen what happened with the Cavs, they were down 3-1 to Golden State. Those guys found a rhythm and won it. Something that I want my team to do is try to get better. I think we added some great pieces. I still think we need one more piece and hopefully we can get it. If not, we gotta go out there and do it with the pieces that we have.”

On the missing piece:

“In the Eastern Conference, you gotta have three or four 3 men (wings). You gotta be able to defend LeBron. I know you are not going to be able to stop him—just need a lot of different bodies, try to wear him down, get him in foul trouble, and have multiple guys that can guard him. That’s what you really need to go against him and compete.”

On communicating with Bradley Beal after signing his max contract:

“The funny thing was, last year, he was complaining about not getting it. I said, ‘Be patient. If you wait, you will end up getting more money.’ And he got more money.”

On Garret Temple’s new contract with the Kings:

“One guy that I am happy for is Garrett Temple. A guy that played seven years, and has been on a lot of 10-day contracts. Never had an opportunity to make more than $5 million, which is a lot, but only making that in seven years, then to sign a deal where he makes $8 million a year? I am very excited for him. One of the most professional guys that I have seen as a teammate, on and off the court.”

On what he likes from Kelly Oubre in the Summer League:

“Him being aggressive. I told him, ‘What else you going to do besides knock down open 3s?’ He might not get a lot of shots, but defend at a high clip, don’t gamble too much defensively, and be able to knock down shots. One thing that I want him to be able to do more now is when he gets steals or rebounds to attack, push the ball, and don’t always look to me or Brad. You got to be able to create for yourself sometimes. That is something in this Summer League that he can improve on.”

On what Wall is working on to improve his game: 

“Still my jump shot, still improving my jump shot. Posting up more. Whenever I am able to knock down those shots, it’s tough for teams to guard me, and it opens up so much more for my teammates. If it goes to nights that I am struggling, I have a bad night, then I am capable to do other things to help my team win, since I am not solely an offensive-minded player. That is one thing that I bring to the game of basketball.”

On his post game:

“At times when I did it, I found that we got good shots. We kept stats and we scored off 80-to-85 percent of the times that I did it. One guy to model it from is Russell (Westbrook). He does it so much and it puts so much pressure on your team. He makes plays and reads, figures it out. I think with our team, we added people that can finish around the basket—Gortat, Mahinmi, and those guys—makes it a lot easier. Then having knock-down shooters, hard to guard those guys.”

After Oubre missed a quick contested 3 in transition, Wall groaned at the bad shot, then said:

“In that situation, with a guy closing out like that, attack baseline. Whenever you get baseline, you put teams in a tough situation on defense. If you have a guy like Otto Porter who knows how to cut in the slot, (you can) get them easy layups.”

On Otto Porter’s maturation:

“Just being confident. At the beginning of the season, he lost confidence. He said that he was mentally and physically tired. I’m like, you are only 20 games in. You work this hard in the summer to get to a starting spot, you got to take advantage of it. I think one thing, he really has to get stronger. Early in the season, we played Lebron, KD, and Carmelo in a week’s span, it wore him down. Just imagine what I got to do on a nightly basis at the point guard position in the NBA. They got a lot of young, talented guards coming in this year.”

On Kevin Durant choosing to play for Golden State:

“It is a lot of different than the old school era, like Steve (NBA TV analyst Steve Smith) and those guys played in. They stayed on one team and got it done.

“That is what the new NBA is now. Guys want to get rings and get themselves a better chance. He made a decision that makes him happy. I think a lot of people don’t respect that. You love the game and play it to be happy, not to be sad or frustrated. If he is happy and comfortable in that situation, then you have to respect that. LeBron did the same thing to make him happy and figure things out. Maybe he can figure out how to win championships on another level, then go back to wherever he want to go. I think it is great for the game of basketball. It is going to be exciting to see those guys mesh together.”

On Washington facing the a new-look Eastern Conference:

“I think if we would have had Markieff Morris a lot earlier in the season, that is what we needed. A lot times we had to double-team 4s and swipe the post, but now we have a guy that can go back at the 4 man and guard those guys one-on-one. That is a big accolade. I think adding guys like Mahinmi that can protect the rim and block shots for us is going to be key.”

On free agent movement:

“As for Dwight (Howard), that helps the Hawks in spacing the floor and having (Paul) Millsap in there, but it kind of hurts with the ball movement with Al (Horford), but I think Boston got better. A lot of teams got better. Chicago got better—Jimmy Butler’s team, D-Wade coming in, Robin Lopez, and Rondo to run the team, one of the best point guards in the league with a basketball IQ. New York got good, too. They added a lot of pieces—Courtney Lee, Derrick (Rose), Brandon (Jennings), Melo, and Joakim (Noah). The East is going to be exciting this year. If you don’t get off to a good start, you might not make the playoffs.”

On training and rehab:

“Funny part is that I have my uncle here from North Carolina and a guy working out with me … the process of seeing what the NBA is all about. He told me that he thought all we do is wake up and play basketball. Listen, you spend hours stretching, 20 minutes in the cold tub, massages. He has been complaining. He works out, but it is a different work out. I told him that we just don’t get up and have fun. We got a lot of freedom, but we got a lot of work that we got to put into this. I think a lot of people appreciate it when they see the hard work behind [the scenes] in films and the documentaries. If you don’t see those, then they think we just come out here and play games.”

On developing self-discipline:

“I think going to college and not going to (college in) your hometown, you have to become a man. Away from home, that helps instill it into you. Be the man you want to be. I feel like if I would have went to school in North Carolina, then gone to the NBA, then I would have never knew how to be a man on my own. I would have called my mom, gone down the street to get things done. I had to go eight hours (to visit Raleigh from Lexington to see his mom), I wasn’t going to drive that.

“A lot of my free time I like to spend with my nieces and doing things in the community.”

John Wall, NBA TV, Washington Wizards, Truth About It, Adam McGinnis

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.