Apparently, John Wall has never heard of Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Mike Conley, Tony Parker or Rajon Rondo. He might also be unfamiliar with Damian Lillard, Ty Lawson and Deron Williams.
How else can we explain Wall's assertion that he's the best point guard in the NBA?
Wall was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Aug. 2, and when faced with fill-in host Chris Mannix's simple question about where he ranked himself among NBA point guards, Wall put himself atop the list.
He's wrong, but it's not remotely surprising that he feels that way.
Elite athletes tend to possess a delusional self-confidence. To compete at such a high level, it's practically necessary for guys like Wall to believe that they're unstoppable. If you asked most of the aforementioned point guards what they thought about their own games, there's a good chance that you'd have a dozen players asserting their own primacy at the position.
Aside from inborn confidence, a couple of things might help explain Wall's hubris: his new five-year, $80 million contract, and his terrific play after the All-Star break last year. In his final 31 games of the 2012-13 season, Wall averaged 20.7 points, 7.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds on 45 percent shooting. More importantly, his Washington Wizards were actually respectable, winning 14 of those contests.
Or maybe Wall's feeling extra cocky because he's convinced himself that the (obviously fake) full-court self-alley-oop he pulled off was real.
It's hard to say.
Statistically speaking, Wall finished sixth among point guards in PER last year, which hurts his case. And if defense counts for anything, it's difficult to list Wall—who allowed opposing point guards to rack up an average PER of 19.3, and whose Wizards actually posted a better defensive efficiency ranking when he was off the floor (per 82games.com)—anywhere in the top 10.
But what's he supposed to say? "Well, I'd guess that I'm somewhere in the top half, but definitely nowhere near elite status. Boy, that $80 million contract sure was a mistake by the Wizards, wasn't it?"
And we know he's not totally full of himself. In the press conference announcing his new deal with the Wizards, Wall broke down, showing he's still grounded and grateful.
Video of John Wall breaking down during his presser yesterday. Pretty intense http://t.co/59dPTzvlqD— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) August 2, 2013
Team leaders need to be confident. And with his new contract, Wall will definitely fill that role for the Wizards for the foreseeable future.