Former head coach Stan Van Gundy has gotten a little ribbing from folks about his recent opinion on John Wall.
Van Gundy didn’t say all that much wrong. The problem was that he was sort of implying that Wall wasn’t fit to be an NBA team’s cornerstone player. Reasonably, that suggestion was met with some scoffs.
Wall, drafted by the Wizards out of Kentucky as the first overall pick. Standing at career averages of 16.2 ppg, 8.1 apg, and 4.4 rpg, Wall has shown some of the promise that DC has expected of him. He’s struggled as a shooter, and mightily so. Opponents have regularly allowed, even encouraged, that he step back and take a jump shot. In his year as a pro, opposing guards have decided to settle for Wall’s jump shots rather than risk any sort of penetration. Wall is among the league’s best finishers, mixing raw speed with adept touch at the rim.
Unfortunately, regardless of his superb finishing abilities, his shooting woes have held him to a career field goal percentage of just 42%. Further displaying his struggles, Wall has made 22% of his three’s in his nearly three year career.
His passing abilities have gona somewhat underrated. When you consider Wall’s weakness from beyond the restricted area, his career line of 8.1 assists per game becomes even more impressive. His drive-and-kick instances do make up a majority of his assists, but he’s proven to possess above average vision on both fast breaks and half court sets.
Van Gundy has decided to further clarify his position:
“I said this: John Wall is a talented guy, a very good player. I don’t think he’s good enough that you can build a franchise around him…I don’t think he can be your best player, certainly not clearly your best player. You need one guy better than him or a couple of guys at his talent level for them to win.”
Now, it should be noted that his opinion doesn’t seem as outlandishly reject-able as it was at first. He merely suggested that the young star guard be surrounded by like-talented players. In other words, John Wall isn’t Allen Iverson. He will not take a team to the finals all by his lonesome.
Frankly, I can live with that assessment.
–H/T to CSN Wasghington
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also an editor at Hoops Nation and contributes to Les Snobs. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Nearly all stats are credited to Hoopdata or Basketball-Reference.
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim.