Former NBA player John Salley made a pretty unthinkable statement saying John Wall is equally good as Stephen Curry. We don’t want to dismiss Wall’s excellence as a basketball player because he is undoubtedly an elite player but nowhere near Steph Curry. In a recent interview for VladTV, Salley’s argument started by comparing their salaries, with Wall being one of the most paid players in the NBA, right behind Curry. Wall is projected to make $42 million this season, only 3 million less than Curry.
Even though Wall wasn’t consistent the last two seasons, there was a time not so long ago when he was considered among the top 5 point guards in the NBA. Sally believes he is as good as Curry; however, he was unfortunate because he was on the Washington Wizards that haven’t been a contending team in the NBA for a long time. That obviously impacts the players’ marketing value because nobody wants to see bad teams, not even if they have a great individual player on their roster.
Remember, it’s never what you are worth, it’s what you negotiate. John Wall is unbelievable, but the problem is that he was buried in Washington, where we didn’t get to see him. So when you got really good guys on really bad teams, you don’t get to see their greatness because they are not winning. They work even harder because they are trying to win each game as opposed to Steph Curry, who could say ‘hey, my ankle is hurting today, I just need a 5-minute break”. When you are on a bad team, you don’t get a 5-minute break. You don’t have a guy like Klay Thompson on this side or Shaun Livingston to step in on this side.John Salley, via VladTV
Curry and Wall had diametrally different careers even though they both got into mediocre franchises that barely made the playoffs. Curry changed the Warriors‘ franchise and history, making them one of the true powerhouses in the NBA, accumulating team and individual success along the way. On the other hand, Wall didn’t have as nearly identical success as the Wizards, even though nobody can argue his desire and motivation to make them a winning team.
I have to agree with Sally saying how Curry had a lot more luck than Wall when it comes to having the supporting cast to help along the way. However, at the age of 33, Curry is coming off his best individual season ever, cementing his legacy with the Warriors, while Wall is leaving the Rockets after they find a suitable trade for him from other teams. Wall is a great player, and hopefully, he finds a team that will maximize his talent, but there is no question Curry is a much superior player that literally changed the game. That is where Sally got it wrong in his assessment.