The great players self-motivate. John Wall hasn’t earned that hallowed distinction yet, but his use of the inspirational catalyst following it will likely get him there soon. According to a story in The Washington Post, the Washington Wizards All-Star point guard keeps a list of perceived slights on his phone and reads them before games and practices to fuel his inner-fire.
John Wall keeps a list on his phone of the slights and criticism he hears, reads and perceives. He updates it whenever he comes across a new form of disrespect and reads it for motivation before he steps on the floor for every practice and game.
Will to win and the spirit of competition is surely enough for Wall; he wouldn’t be the player he is without that mindset. But some of the most hallowed players in sports history used exterior factors as extra incentive, and Wall is following in their footsteps. Think of Michael Jordan being cut from his high school team or feeding off of trash talk – those self-motivational tactics are similar to Wall’s.
Is that a somewhat petty impetus to drive work ethic? Sure. But it’s a game, after all, and Wall should use every advantage he can to reach his full potential. We wonder – and are hoping this is the case, obviously – if Wall read our mild critique of his defense yesterday to glean some extra energy.
It seems that way at the very least. From the same piece in The Post:
“I always could play defense,” Wall said. “I think anybody in this world could play defense, but do you commit yourself to it? That’s one thing. I want to be known as a two-way player. So I committed myself to that.”
That’s trouble for opposing point guards. Wall has the natural gifts to be among the most impactful perimeter defenders in the NBA. If he has his sights set on becoming one, it seems only a matter of time until he does.
So go ahead and thank us for Wall’s defensive improvement, Wizards fans. He obviously took note of our relative criticisms, and is planning to wreak havoc on that end this season as a result.
What do you think?
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