By Bobby Kirschenbaum
This season, John Wall has taken the league by force. He is putting up numbers right now that Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and many other legends never could. Not only is Wall averaging 17.4 points per game, but also 10.1 assists per game. Suspensions and injuries have lingered around the Wizards locker room all season, but none of them have hampered Wall’s production. Bradley Beal has missed 12 games due to a broken hand; 4 players, including starting power forward Nenê, were suspended to start the season due to a preseason scuffle; and Marcin Gortat has had a very disappointing year thus far. Through it all, who has kept the Wizards competitive in the East? In recognition of his outstanding performance, Wall was named an all star for the second straight year. Wall, however, should be more than just an all star. He should be the league MVP.
“But what about Harden, Durant, Curry, and Lebron?” Many might ask. While all four are fantastic players, the MVP goes to the Most Valuable Player, not necessarily the best.. If you take away Lebron James, for example, from the Cavs, they can still put up a fight in the playoffs with the duo of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The same goes for Steph Curry in Golden State: the duo of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson sure could scare teams in the West. John Wall, on the other hand, has almost singlehandedly taken the Wizards from near the bottom of the Eastern Conference every season to a 5 seed.
On February 12th, Bradley Beal was diagnosed with his third stress fracture in as many years. While this is a huge blow to the Wizards starting 5 no matter who replaces him, Wall will certainly ease the transition with his leadership and spectacular ball handling. John Wall has certainly proved this year that he is one of the best players in the NBA.
In addition to his sensational basketball skill, and incredible leadership, John Wall is an exceptional citizen as well. Wall forged a cherished friendship with a fan by the name of Miyah Temaque-Nelson, a 5-year-old undergoing treatment for Burkitt’s lymphoma. Miyah had one true wish: to meet Nicki Minaj. And last March, by organizing a social media campaign and winning support for the young girl, Wall made it happen. It was a touching story, and something that certainly caught the attention of everybody in the sports world. Unfortunately, Miyah died from her cancer on the morning of December 9th, at the age of 6. Wall and the Wizards took the court later that night on the second night of a home-and-home with the Boston Celtics. Playing with Miyah’s name on his sneakers, Wall shined with 26 points and 17 assists in an intense 133-132 double-overtime win. In his interview afterward with Chris Miller of CSN Washington, Wall attempted to put words to an emotional day before bursting into tears (http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhd3vkZ3TxK9o45U9v).
John Wall has certainly taken the league by storm. Not only has he averaged a solid double double in points and assists through the first 54 games, he has carried the Wizards and proved why he is a hero in D.C. He is not only an incredible basketball player, but a kind person as well. So, John Wall certainly has my vote in the MVP Race for the 2015 season, and he should have everybody else’s as well.