Highlights of John Wall’s improved jump shot plus a mini-duel with Michael Beasley at “Clash of the Superstars” in Washington, D.C.
The NBA’s unofficial stand-in—this summer’s suite of pro-am games—have drawn basketball’s biggest names to the delight of frenzied crowds from Northeast Baltimore to Southeast Asia. The exhibitions have clearly meant something to the players, visible in celebrations after big plays as well as reactions to suspect officiating.
That wasn’t so much the case at Saturday’s showdown at Calvin Coolidge High School in northwest Washington, D.C. that featured John Wall, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Beasley, Jeff Green, Greg Monroe and Kemba Walker. Billed as “Clash of the Superstars,” the charity game had all of the star power but none of the flash; it was a sleepy affair that played more like the final run of a pickup game among friends—very little energy and even less defense.
Although the action on the court didn’t exactly rouse the sparse crowd, a few in attendance had high praise for Washington Wizards second-year point guard John Wall. I caught up with Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls who talked about Wall’s “spectacular” summer, and explained that while pro-am competition doesn’t compare to the NBA, it’s still an important part of preseason preparation:
“You got to work on the summer stuff to get you ready for the season. His jump shot has progressed tremendously. The more I see him, the more he progresses; that’s the key thing, his jump shot. And I didn’t know he was that athletic, he’s athletic as I don’t know what. I see the progression and the work he’s been putting in. I’ve even seen the technique change on him. At first it was like a push shot, but now I see a lot of wrist in his shot. So whoever is working with him is doing a good job.”
Tags: demarcus cousins, derrick rose, goodman league, greg monroe, JaVale McGee, jeff green, John Wall, jordan crawford, kemba walker, kevin durant, michael beasley, miles rawls, sid luckman, vince lombardi