After a career year with the Washington Wizards last season, John Wall established himself among the elite point guards in the NBA.
The 27-year-old averaged career-highs in points (23.1), assists (10.7) and steals (2.0) and led his team to within a win of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.
Unsurprisingly, his confidence coming into this campaign was through the roof and he made some bold claims over the summer.
In an interview with ESPN, he proclaimed himself to be the best point guard in the east and is hoping to feature in the MVP conversation this year.
A former teammate of his decided to go one further this week and made an even bigger claim in regards to the four-time All-Star.
Future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce spent one season with Wall and the Wizards and believes he's "the best point guard in the league".
“First off, he’s so fast and dynamic,” Pierce said in an online ESPN segment about Wall. “You can’t get up on him and crowd him; that’s when he drives to the hole.
"He’ll dunk on you with the left, with the right. He has the handles of a small guy, even though he stands 6-3. He has the speed of an NFL running back.
"So you pretty much have to give him space and let him shoot the jumper. If not, he’ll embarrass you all night.”
In a point-guard-driven NBA, there are no shortage of players who can attest to being the best with the likes of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul still operating at a high level.
The fact that Curry and Westbrook have won MVP awards makes Pierce's statement hugely debatable but he still believes Wall stands out from the rest.
"Wall's speed is equivalent to The Flash," he said. "I mean, this guy, he's a blur in the open court. This guy's probably the fastest end to end with the ball.
"If Wall is running at you and you're a defender and he's going full speed, you're pretty much at his mercy—expect to be on SportsCenter that night."
The All-NBA guard is often irked by the lack of recognition he receives and was surprised that his terrific year didn't do much to change some opinions.
“I still don’t [get the recognition],” he said. “Some people are like ‘Well, is he a top five point guard?’ There’s only two people that averaged 20 [points] and 10 [assists] last year other than me, and I barely made an all-NBA team!
"So I use all that as motivation. I mean, I was what, I think top two in steals, number one in steals maybe, and I didn’t make all-defensive team. Because it’s all politics about certain players."
He's certainly got respect from Pierce and as one of the best players to ever take to the court, his opinion carries a lot of weight.News Now - Sport News