Is Kyrie Irving better than John Wall? Maybe one day. But not right now. That’s why it’s puzzling that Mr. Wall headlined the first round of cuts made by coach Mike Krzyzewski leading up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup this month. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski lobbed this firecracker onto Twitter late Monday.
USA Basketball cut Washington's John Wall, Bradley Beal and Atlanta's Paul Millsap today, sources told Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 4, 2014
Sure, the competition is stiff. Derrick Rose looks like Derrick Rose. Point guards are plentiful. Still, it’s hard not to read into this as some good-old-fashioned Duke bias. That claim is somewhat substantiated by the report that Team USA apparently also favors Mason Plumlee over DeMarcus Cousins. Well that’s Cameron Crazy talk, but the Irving/Wall decision is at the very least debatable. Still, Irving is simply inferior to Wall in every aspect of the game other than shooting. And with guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver still on the team, is Irving’s 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from three more valuable than a dude who does this on the regular?
Wall is two years older, has been to playoffs (second round, mind you) and is more effective distributor than Irving. He’s also a menace on defense, as the footage above will attest to. He stands 6-foot-4, yet he’s quick enough to beat most opposing point guards in a foot race. So what’s the deal, Coach K?
One argument might be health concerns. Team USA just went through one of the most horrific injury experiences of modern basketball, so it makes sense that they would cut a guy who hesitated to even accept his invite because he was worried about an offseason knee procedure. Plus, it’s not like Wall’s had the best of luck with injuries over his career. He finally completed a full season this past year, so it might be best not to test fate this early in his career. Still, this team sure looks like it could use some defense, so I’m still not seeing why Irving makes the first cut over Wall. Check out a comparison of their career numbers.
Maybe President Obama can exercise some veto powers for this cut? It seems un-American to cut the superstar of our nation’s capital from Team USA. So, later this month, when you’re watching Ricky Rubio streak for a fastbreak layup, you’ll have to wonder if John Wall would be there swatting that shit against the backboard if only he wore a darker shade of blue in college.
Image via Getty