A zig, a zag and then a bucket. A zig, a zag and then an assist. These were common occurrences during Nate "Tiny" Archibald's career.
He was a five time All-NBA and 1981 All-Star MVP. These were just part of the accolades in the former UTEP Miner's career. He cannot simply be measured by his statistics however, since he endured injuries that ravaged his career from being even more explosive.
Explosive. A nice word to explain John Wall. Laffy Taffy would also be a great description of John Wall. He can stretch and contort himself into lengthy positions, but still come up sweet in his production.
We are on the heels of the NBA Draft and one can't help but compare future stars to current or past players. I can remember fondly the great aspirations that were put upon Kenny Anderson, Derrick Coleman and Larry Johnson which didn't pan out. Well, others such as Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning did their share of playing the game. Wall is another player to put on the comparison radar.
When watching Wall play at Kentucky, one could see many of the same features in him that were in Archibald. The way they traverse the whole court, speeding by opposition and putting up a left handed floater off the backboard. Penetrating the lane then kicking it out to a teammate for an open J. Plays that shadows Tiny in many ways.
These are lofty praises for a kid who has played only one season at the college level versus a Hall of Fame player in Archibald. One should list in their mind what the pro's and con's for Wall's success are before making these comparisons of course.
The first factor has to be his fitting in with the Washington Bullets (I mean Wizards). Can he establish himself next to Gilbert Arenas? Is he going to play Point Guard or Shooting Guard is also a decision that has to be cleared. The chemistry issue is always a problem. If this is not cleared up, he could see himself out of the playoffs for a while to begin his career.
The second factor that has to be determined is if he can handle the league at his size. Like Iverson, Thomas and the aforementioned Archibald, he lacks the size right now physically. He does stand (6'4'') but has a small build at this current point and does not resemble Dwyane Wade at this given time. The brutal force of an 82 game season on his body will be a good indication of his success.
The pro's that have to be penciled in, are that he has a better vertical than Tiny did, and that he does have the extra three inches in height. Maturity will always be questioned in a young athlete, but I believe his head is sound and we will see smooth play from him.
I wouldn't expect a 34 Point, 11.4 Assists per game output from Wall (Archibald's 1972-73 season), but he should be electrifying. Are my beliefs in Wall's abilities a little high? I believe they are, but that is what makes watching Wall's progression so fun.