While he said he was "just happy to have the opportunity to be there and represent my country," John Wall seemed pretty upset that he didn't make the U.S. men's national basketball team that will compete in this month's 2014 FIBA World Cup. After learning he was among the squad's first cuts, the Washington Wizards point guard and 2013-14 Eastern Conference All-Star said he thought the USA Basketball brass "already had kind of in their mind what they wanted to do" with the point guards on the roster.
"I guess I’m overlooked again," he told Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com.
But every grey cloud has a silver lining. In Wall's case, getting "overlooked" by Jerry Colangelo and company afforded him the opportunity to hop on a plane for an Adidas promotional event and look over damn near the entire world from atop the Great Wall of China. Sure, it'd be neat to don the red, white and blue and get a crack at thrashing the Dominican Republic, but this ain't too shabby a Plan B:
You'll note the presence of a tattoo spanning Wall's shoulder blades reading "GREAT WALL" against a backdrop of bricks. (That's a little thing we like to call parallelism.) That ink's not new — he got it last year (as displayed in his photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine's "Body Issue") with plans to eventually add other symbols, like the logo of his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, on the wall backdrop — but the 2010 draft's No. 1 pick did get some fresh artwork this offseason, completing the chest piece he began last summer:
This summer's new addition paid tribute to Wall's family, according to Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog:
When John Wall was still a teenager, he asked his mother whether he could get a portrait of his late father, John Carroll Wall, tattooed on his chest. His mother said no.
So Wall decided he would wait. [...] This offseason, though, he finally got the tattoo of his father on his chest, the one image he had repeatedly talked about before entering the NBA, and before getting his first tattoo.
“And now I’m happy,” Wall told [the Washington Post's Michael] Lee last month in Las Vegas. “I got my mom, my sisters on my mom’s side, and my dad. I got everybody around my heart that I care about.”
And after a lifetime of hard work and hardship to get to this point, he got to bring them all up to the top of the world to take a look around. Again: pretty nice consolation prize for not getting the Team USA call.
Hat-tip to FTW.
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