Regardless of accolades, All-Star appearances, and ego, it seems that John Wall is bought into LA Clippers‘ culture. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN recently interviewed Wall to get a deep dive into his decision to join LA. And given his answers, it seems as if the two are a fit. Wall discussed his role, goals for the team, and starting with Youngmisuk. All answers he gave were solid indications that his unselfishness and team-first mindset are a perfect fit for this team.
John Wall Is Bought Into Clippers’ Culture
Earning His Spot
The biggest storyline regarding Wall and the Clippers is whether the five-time All-Star will start or come off the bench. Youngmisuk first reported that Wall and Reggie Jackson will have an “open competition” for the starting point guard spot. Wall confirmed this and shared a conversation he had with head coach Ty Lue.
“Just because you’re 5x All-Star doesn’t mean you’re gonna come in and start. Just because Reggie been here doesn’t mean he’s gonna come in and start,” Wall said of Lue in his interview. “Whoever gets the nod is good… I’m not mad about it. But we all know what we trying to do and that’s win a championship.”
Pretty telling and indicative of Wall’s self-awareness of his current form in his career. It takes a lot for a professional athlete who has been ‘the man’ his whole career to swallow his pride and accept who he is.
“I feel like I’m past that stage,” Wall said in regards to being ‘Batman’ for the Clippers. And for that reason alone is why one should believe Wall could be Lue’s next reclamation project to come to the Clippers. Consequently, if Wall does show rejuvenation, he will join the likes of Nicolas Batum and Reggie Jackson as vets whose careers were given a second life by Lue and the Clippers’ culture.
The John Wall Fit
Wall, who is good friends with Clippers forward Paul George, alluded that he did not need to be recruited hard. He mentioned having watched the Clippers “from afar for a long time” and is ready to accept his role. Additionally, Wall spoke to Kawhi Leonard who told him to “play his game” and be himself. Leonard and George are arguably the two best players that Wall will ever play with in his career. Their gravity and spacing give Wall even more space to operate and be his attacking self. Additionally, the shooting from wings on the team spaces the floor even more for the downhill point guard.
The only concern is his three-point shooting. Wall has never been known to be a knockdown three-point shooter. But he is committed early to buy into improving that aspect of his game to better fit the stars. Wall stated that he is working on his catch-and-shoot game. And a clip of him shooting with trainer Chris Brickley shows encouraging signs of his work ethic regarding his new role. Although most NBA players look great in workouts, it is still good to see Wall continue to work.
Battle of LA
Later in his interview with Youngmisuk, Wall was asked about his thoughts on the Battle of LA.
“Battle? Whatever they call it, I think the Clippers haven’t lost in… what? The last eight times? If I’m not mistaken. We know who they have over there and we know who we have on our side.”
It’s actually eight times, but who’s counting? But seriously, Wall is excited to be a part of the rivalry in LA and is prepared for the bright lights. “I love the stage… that’s the best time to perform,” Wall said.
It seems as though the former All-NBA point guard is ready for the rivalry. His knowing the Clippers’ win streak against the Lakers already shows that he is already in tune with the team. And his eagerness to represent his team and keep the streak going is more than encouraging for Clipper fans as he gears up for the season.