John Wall versus Derrick Rose vol. Media Hype
The NCAA tournament is done for Kentucky. John Wall is thinking about the next move and that’s the leap to the League of Extraordinary Ballplayers. He is projected to be the number one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft among other standouts such as Evan Turner and DeMarcus Cousins. Many sports outlets have dubbed Wall as a “once in a generation” type player. Some have even gone to claim that “John Wall is the greatest point guard athlete … ever.” Wow.
I even ran across stuff like general managers across the NBA would take John Wall even if they already have a star point guard. I understand the sentiment because something similar happened back in the early 1980s with Clyde Drexler and Michael Jordan. The Portland Trailblazers had a chance to have both guys. Drexler was drafted in 1983. MJ came out the year after and Portland had the number two pick to get the GOAT. At the time, it was different than what we know now of course. The logical thinking made sense because they already had a good big guard. Why get another one? They needed a center and Sam Bowie was the best available.
Let’s examine further the situation in 1984. Clyde Drexler was entering his second year. He had a mediocre season, but that’s fine because he was the 13th pick. He wasn’t top ten. He did not win the Rookie of the Year award because Drexler wasn’t the starter to put up the stats to be in consideration. The Blazers was a playoff team BEFORE Drexler arrived that’s why he wasn’t the starter. Michael Jordan was a flat out championship winner hitting the game winner in his freshman year. Even Bobby Knight told Portland to draft Michael at center.
Why did I mention this history? Michael Jordan had the winning pedigree that Clyde Drexler didn’t have at that particular time.
Back to the present 2010.
For comparison between the point guards, one can say that John Wall is Clyde Drexler. Derrick Rose is Michael Jordan. Please take note: I’m not saying that Derrick Rose is as good as MJ and Wall is as good as Drexler. That is stupid so stop reaching for straws. What I’m really saying is both guys are sharing similar positions that occurred in 1984. People were comparing Clyde Drexler and Michael Jordan especially in the Blazers war room before the 1984 Draft. Portland could have taken Jordan despite having a budding star guard in Drexler.
Why is Derrick Rose the better player over John Wall when Wall hasn’t stepped into the NBA yet? Look at the resume BEFORE Poohdini stepped in the NBA. Derrick Rose led Simeon to two state championships. Rose was the best player on a Memphis squad that went 38-2 wrecking havoc averaging 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6 assists throughout the tourney leading them all the way to the championship game against Kansas. This is how he stacked up against each point guard to show that Rose faced better competition:
Sweet 16 vs #5 Michigan St:
Kalin Lucas 11 points (3-7 FG), 4 assists, 1 rebound
Derrick Rose 27 points (10-16 FG), 5 assists, 4 rebounds
Elite 8 vs #2 Texas:
DJ Augustin 16 points (4-18 FG), 3 assists, 3 rebounds
Derrick Rose 21 points (7-10 FG), 9 assists, 6 rebounds
Final 4 vs #1 UCLA:
Russell Westbrook 22 points (10-19 FG), 2 assists, 3 rebounds
Derrick Rose 25 points (7-16 FG), 4 assists, 9 rebounds
Championship vs #1 Kansas:
Mario Chalmers 18 points (5-13 FG), 3 assists, 3 rebounds
Derrick Rose 18 points (7-17 FG), 8 assists, 6 rebounds
John Wall averaged 14.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 7.8 assists in his 4 games tourney. That’s pretty impressive. Rose only averaged 2.2 turnovers during the tourney stretch. Wall, however, averaged 4 turnovers per game. As Charles Barkley would say, “That’s turrible.” Wall didn’t win any high school championships and couldn’t get through to the Final Four. He didn’t even face competition like Rose did. He let West Virginia’s backup point guard Joe Muzzula and Cornell’s point guard Louis Dale wreck havoc. What the hell was that all about?
All of this is not a slight against Wall. He’s going to be a fine player. He has the potential to be a better ball hawk and might average more assists than Rose at the NBA level. That is all I see. I do not see him as this Hall of Famer better than Poohdini. One site has Wall’s best case scenario as “Derrick Rose with full potential.” What the hell does that even mean? And since Wall is projected as a Hall of Famer then why is he even compared to a kid who was drafted 2 years before him? Shouldn’t he be compared to another proven NBA Hall of Famer like Isiah Thomas, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, and Magic Johnson?
I blame the media for this nonsense. This is unfair for Wall. Overall, physically he’s similar to Rose. They’re similar to each other except Wall has length while Rose is more explosive. The big difference is the mental makeup. Rose has the edge on that. His current resume speaks for itself.
To be better than Chicago Bulls’ franchise point guard, Wall has to succeed everything Rose has done so far. He has to win Rookie of the Year while leading his team to the second round of the playoffs and make the All Star Game all in his first season.
Supposedly John Wall is the best prospect since LeBron James and Dwight Howard. Is he? Oh hell no. He’s not even physically dominant at the point guard position. When I saw Shaq, LeBron, and Dwight, I knew they were going to be damn great because they were physically imposing for their positions. Wall isn’t that. Rose isn’t that either.
I do know one thing. Wall has tremendous skills worthy of being the number one pick. As college prospects, Wall and Rose are close. Then again, the NBA Draft deals with future guessing on picking the best player available. If I had to choose Wall or Rose based on their resumes pre-NBA, I’d choose Rose hands down. Derrick Rose has the winning pedigree that John Wall does not have at this particular time.
Is John Wall the better college prospect than Derrick Rose? Or is this simply a case of apples and oranges?