Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Last Night's Winner: John Wall's Eventual, Inevitable Quintuple-Double

It took young Mr. Wall all of six games to put together his first career triple-double, a thing of beauty even against the hapless Rockets. He also had six steals. One day he'll put it all together with, yes, 10 turnovers.

Wall had just one turnover in 42 minutes of action, a ratio becoming of a court general. (For the record, Kirk Hinrich had 6 turnovers. Don't tune into Cowherd expecting to hear him question Hinrich's IQ. Funny how that works.)


John Wall is 20 years old, a force of nature confined to the body of near-teenager, and a mind that's played just a year and change of top-level competitive basketball. Unlike so many other top prospects, it's not even a question of developing his talent; it's about harnessing it.

He will, of course, to a degree. A dervish of arms and legs flying across the hardwood, his court vision will evolve, allowing him to move from point A to point B with a minimum of detours once he's more quickly able to identify where point B should be. A franchise point guard learns to see everything at once, and no one's ever doubted that Wall's a franchise point guard.

But here's hoping Wall harnesses his natural talent rather than suppress it. At his best, he's a creative artistic force, making it up as he goes, adding a hint of danger to what can be a staid position. He's not afraid to make mistakes, even if doing so means turning the ball over. We're cool with that.

Turnovers aren't the worst thing in the world. There are an awful lot of Hall of Famers on the turnover leaderboard. They've all got one thing in common: they wanted to make things happen. John Wall is a thing that is happening now, before our eyes. And while all defensive eyes are on him, he's either making his teammates better, or managing to get to the basket anyway. Sure he's going to get stripped a few times, or throw the ball into too much traffic, but that's the price we pay for something amazing.


Some evening, maybe not this year, John Wall is going to do something amazing. He's going to get his usual 25 points. He's going to be a tornado ripping through the paint, grabbing ten boards. He's going to distribute from the top of the key, getting his ten assists. He's going to move through the opposing team like Moses's curse of the firstborn, snatching away ten steals. And while he does all this, he's going to try things no one in their right mind tries, a wildly pistoning engine rather than a well-oiled machine, and he's going to turn the ball over ten times.

And it will be incredible to watch.

Share This Story