Washington Wizards point guard John Wall was named the No. 1 pick in the 2010 largely due to his speed and court vision, but a new viral video displays an ability few NBA players can claim.
Wall inked a five-year, $80 million contract with the Wizards on Wednesday, and on Thursday a video came out of the 22-year-old hurling a ball the length of the court for a self-alley-oop. It’s difficult to tell if the video is real or fake, since the camera pans up and follows the ball rather than Wall jetting down court.
A regulation NBA court is 94 feet long. If the video is real Wall sprinted, jumped, and completed the reverse slam in about three seconds. Simple physics (distance divided by time) demonstrates that Wall was traveling at a speed of 31.3 feet per second. That translates into about 21 miles per hour, a speed that would be unattainable by many athletes, even ones as gifted as Wall.
It's important to note that we can't really tell if the court is regulation size.
Wall has battled his fair share of injuries over the last three seasons, but his athleticism and talent has never been questioned. He returned from a left knee injury in the second half of last season and put up some of the best numbers of his career, averaging 22.1 points and 8.1 assists in March, and 23.9 points and 7.3 assists in April.
The video looks eerily similar to a commercial for the sports beverage Powerade featuring current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Like Wall, Vick has largely been known for his speed and elusive scrambling abilities, and has taken lots of flak for his work inside the pocket. But below he plows down receivers with his passes, and then launches a ball into the stands from the opposite side of the field.
Wall's feat appears more plausible than Vick's, but eventually we'll find out.