When John Wall was named an All-Star for the first time last week, he told CSN Washington that he was considering invitations from the NBA to participate in the dunk contest and skills competition. He'll make up his mind Monday, but it appears he's learning towards the latter because of injury concerns.
Wall is dealing with soreness on the heel of his feet and is worried about the extra pounding, though if the competition involves superstars maybe -- just maybe -- he could change his mind.
He wants to compete in something at the Feb. 14-16 showcase in New Orleans. After all, it has taken him four years to be an All-Star when coaches voted him in as a reserve Thursday. This is why the skills competition appears to be the safest bet.
But make no mistake, the dunk contest is tempting. When Paul George of the Indiana Pacers threw down a 360-windmill dunk two weeks ago, in the locker room after the Wizards played, Wall got word of the feat. After seeing the video of it, Wall insisted that he could've done it better.
One more issue to keep in mind: Wall had issues with lower back spasms to start the season, had trouble sitting on the bench during games and often could be seen being stretched out by athletic trainers on the floor to prevent tightness. He said Saturday, after a 96-81 win vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder that he still has to use a heating pad to keep his lower back loose.
Sore heel plus lower back pain means the high impact and twisting required in a dunk contest might not be the best idea for a player, and a team, that has the No. 1 goal of making the playoffs this season.
The risk might not be worth the reward.