Appearing on ESPN’s “First Take,” the Washington Wizards’ four-time All-Star point guard John Wall issued a strong statement—asked who the best point guard is in the NBA, he answered “me.” 

“I just feel like I’m an all-around point guard,” Wall told ESPN panelists as the group discussed the Association’s top lead men.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Cavaliers won 140-135 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Cavaliers won 140-135 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Wall’s been having a career season, averaging 23 points and 10 assists per game. With Washington also having a strong season, Wall has emerged in the limelight this year. But with Stephen Curry, James Harden, Isaiah Thomas and Russell Westbrook also having marquee seasons, the question remains: is John Wall the best point guard in the NBA? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate this interesting question. 

Riley: Yes, he is. Wall plays a position that’s easily masked by players who really belong as shooting guards, but because of stature or ball-handling ability, are played at that spot. Harden and Westbrook start at point guard, but they’re not true point guards. Thomas is having an MVP season, but he’s risen to that status as a dominant scorer and not as a team lead. Wall has full control over Washington’s offense and sets the tone for the defense. There’s not a more complete point guard in the NBA right now than Wall. Chris Paul comes to mind, but injuries have limited him this season. Wall might just be the best pure passer in the Association right now, and that aspect alone certainly gives him a leg up on the rest of the competition. Defense, passing and scoring—there aren’t a lot of lead guards who can give you all of that right now. 

Green: It’s a new age in the NBA. There are so many quality point guards leading the league that it’s hard to identify one player as the top guy. Whether you’re talking about Westbrook, Thomas or Wall, each specimen brings something different to the table, so it just depends on what criteria you’re using. Westbrook’s leading the Association triple-doubles, Harden’s leading the NBA in assists and Curry is regarded as the best shooter in the game. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but I can’t disagree with Wall’s statement. He should believe he’s the best—but so should Harden, Westbrook, Curry or IT. I personally think LeBron James is the best point guard in the league; he just doesn’t identify himself as one. 

Riley: How can you not believe you’re the best? We all know what Wall means when he says he’s the best all-around point guard, and we know that doesn’t include a bunch of guys whose acclaim isn’t scoring a bulk of the team’s points. Harden might be leading the league in assists, but the offensive system in Houston is set up for him to do that. Only Paul can rival Wall’s ability to scan the floor and throw accurate darts into spots where no other player can fit passes. This is Harden’s first season playing point guard extensively. Westbrook is a former shooting guard converted over to point guard, and Curry the same. With Paul out, the truest point guard in the league plays in the District of Columbia. 

Green: It doesn’t matter how long Curry, Harden or Westbrook have been playing point guard, they’re all playing it effectively now. I love Wall’s game and what the Wizards are doing right now—but would they be doing the same thing if you replaced him with any other top point guard? Probably so. Now, would Houston, Oklahoma City or Golden State have the same success if you swapped their stars out with Wall? That’s the true test and I’m not sure they would. Again, I love Wall, but those other guys are just as good. 

 

Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley

AFRO Sports Desk