John Wall: 'Tough times don't last; tough people do'
Wondering how, or why, the Wizards have given John Wall a five-year, $80 million max contract extension that will keep him here through 2019?
In three seasons, he hasn’t been on a team that has won more than 29 games and has never been an All-Star or the postseason.
But after the Wizards started 5-28 without Wall last season, and despite a litany of injuries to others on the roster, they were 24-25 with him. They had a 4-13 record at Verizon Center that turned to 18-6 with Wall.
They averaged almost seven points per game more with Wall (95.9) and held opponents to almost three fewer points (94.8). Field-goal shooting improved by 5%, up to 45.4%, and there was an 8% bump in three-point shooting at 39.7% with Wall.
This, and some of these other reasons, has given CEO Ted Leonsis and president Ernie Grunfeld confidence that things are turning around in Washington:
- Wall has career averages of 16.9 points, 8.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals through 184 games, joining Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul as the only players in NBA history who have averaged or currently average at least 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds for their career.
- After missing the first 33 games because of a knee injury and initially coming off the bench, Wall averaged 19.2 points, 7.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a starter last season.
- Since steals and blocks became an official stat in the early 1970s, Wall is the fastest player (134 games) to 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks.
- Averaged 22.7 points, 7.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals from March 1 through the end of last season, joining LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only three players to average at least 22.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals during that span.
- Is the fastest active NBA player to reach 900 career assists. Took him 111 games.
- Is the sixth-fastest player in NBA history (124 games) to reach the 2,000 points/1,000 assists plateau