Most NBA players when asked what they’d like to accomplish in an All-Star Game, give some typical stock response like, “I just want to go out there and have fun” or “I just hope we can give the fans a good show.” But not Washington Wizards guard John Wall. No, he has bigger plans for Sunday’s All-Star Game in New York:
“I would love to break Magic [Johnson]’s all-time assist record,” Wall said with a grin.
That record, set by the former Los Angeles Lakers great in 1984, is 22 dimes, a tall order even for one of the league’s most talented point guards.
Still, if anyone knows how to dish the rock in one of these exhibition games, it’s Wall, who had 22 assists during the 2011 Rising Stars Challenge between the rookies and sophomores. The closest anyone has come to breaking Johnson’s record in recent memory is Chris Paul, who had 15 assists in 2013.
But Wall wants to put his name in the record book. He actually has been talking about it since before All-Star Weekend even got underway. Now that he’s there, though, he figures he may as well go for All-Star MVP while he’s at it.
“Whenever I get in something, I always want to be the best,” Wall said when asked whether he had his eye on the MVP trophy. “When I step on the court, I want to be the best player. I mean, everyone has a goal they’re trying to go out there and win, but yeah… if I could get All-Star MVP [that would be great]. That [is] a goal I have in my mind.”
The fact that he’s even here with an opportunity to break a record or win an MVP trophy is a testament to how far he’s come as a player. For the first few years, media couldn’t mention his name without adding “if he ever figures it out,” but John “If He Ever Figures It Out” Wall has done just that, thanks in large part, he says, because he got hurt.
“I think I was going too fast for the NBA game [earlier in my career], so speed wasn’t a problem for me,” Wall said. “I think just when I was injured, I had an opportunity to sit back and watch a lot of film and start understanding the game more, slowing down and changing pace, using different speeds.”
Slowing down and playing more in control has allowed the Wizards to have one of their better seasons over the course of the last decade. It is for that reason he was voted into the All-Star Game as a starter, and why he may stay there for many years to come.
“It’s great and a huge honor,” Wall said. “I just thank my fans for voting for me, thank my teammates and coaches because without those guys I wouldn’t be able to be in this situation.”
The situation will be especially fun if it results in 23 assists, and if that does happen, the All-Star MVP award can’t be too far behind.
Report: NBA All-Star Game Starters Announced
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and rising second-year stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young headline the star-studded group of present and future superstars who make up the starters for the 69th All-Star Game.
James, the catalyst for the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, will captain the Western Conference team for the second straight season. Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks’ star and reigning Kia MVP, captains the Eastern Conference team for a second straight season as well.
A fresh face in the starters’ mix this season is Dallas wunderkind Luka Doncic, who joins Houston’s James Harden as the two starters in the backcourt. Clippers forward and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Lakers forward Anthony Davis round out the All-L.A. frontcourt.
Boston’s Kemba Walker is joined by Atlanta’s Trae Young in the East backcourt. Like Doncic, Young is a first-time All-Star and starter in just his second NBA season. Antetokounmpo will be flanked by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, another first time All-Star and starter, in the East frontcourt.
Adam Silver Believes Next Year’s ASG Draft Will be Televised
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was pleased with the new format for the league’s All-Star Game and believed that next year’s player draft would be televised.
“I thought it was incredible. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the players,” Silver told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne following a 148-145 win for Team LeBron over Team Stephen at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
2018 NBA All-Star Sunday Recap
Michael Petrower recaps the All-Star Game from Sunday in Los Angeles.
The 2018 NBA All Star Game had some added appeal this year, with Captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry selecting playground style from the pool of All-Stars. Although it was not televised, it drew a lot of interest to say the least.
Team Lebron was headlined by Kevin Durant (the alleged first pick), Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving. Sadly, Team Lebron suffered big losses with John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and Kristaps Porzingis going down with injuries. Team Stephen was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Joel Embiid and Demar DeRozan.
NBA fans were ready to indulge on the highlight real of plays to commence…That was, until the NBA inflicted a marathon-like performance that seemed a bit unnecessary, to say the least. Kevin Hart was at the center of theatrics that had NBA fans scratching their heads questioning what was on their television screen. Fergie topped off the saga with what was one of the more questionable national anthems we’ve seen in recent years. However, if you stuck around long enough, the game started at 8:40 PM EST and the flashy plays that we hoped for, began.
Joel Embiid made his first A;l-Star game appearance and kicked off the scoring festivities for Team Stephen with a ferocious and-one dunk. Team Stephen led all of the first quarter and won the quarter 42-31. Karl Anthony Towns led the first quarter scoring with 11 points. Team LeBron, however would storm back and cut the lead to two, 78-76 at half. LeBron came into his 14th straight All-Star game and lead his team at the half with 15 points. Klay Thompson also lead Team Stephen with 15 points at half.
The second half ensued and after some back and forth between the two teams, Team Stephen was leading by three going into the fourth quarter, 112-109. Team Stephen grew their lead to 11 while LeBron and KD got some rest. But after the two came back in, the 11-point deficit was erased after a LeBron three and the teams were now tied at 144 with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter.
DeRozan would make a free throw to put Team Stephen up one point, but Lebron followed with a strong two-pointer to put his team up one. DeRozan tried to answer, but threw away a pass which resulted in an easy two points for Russell Westbrook to ice the game. Team LeBron was the 2018 All Star Game winner with a score of 148-145.
LeBron James went on to win his third All Star MVP after finishing with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, eigh assists and a steal on 12-17 shooting. DeRozan and Damian Lillard lead Team Stephen with 21 points each.