Dime Training, NBA / Oct 7, 2011 / 1:30 pm

John Wall Plays Basketball Without A Ball

John Wall

John Wall (photo. Reebok)

First of all, you’ve probably noticed, but there’s a pretty dope video of John Wall at the top of this page talking about his new kicks and breaking out as a player. To add to that, ESPN released the No. 40-ranked player on their ESPN Rank Project this morning, and it turned out to be Mr. Dougie. After that, bloggers and analysts took over Twitter to talk about whether Wall should already be ranked that high after just one season. Wall is literally everywhere today, and there’s a chance he is playing ball without a ball right now.

Thomas Shepherd happens to be one of the main characters from one of the best basketball movies ever, Above The Rim. He also made the Elite 8 of our Ultimate Movie Baller Tournament this summer. But it wasn’t his talent that made us love him. It was because he routinely practiced without a ball.

Wall must’ve watched Above The Rim a lot as a kid because he does that too, and it seems to work for him. Our fam over at ESPN.com, Jason Jordan, found this out recently when he asked Wall about his unorthodox training methods.

The Rundown: “I know it sounds a little crazy, but I’ll just be walking down the street and, out of nowhere, I’ll hit someone with an in-and-out move without having a ball. I scare them because they don’t know what in the world I’m doing, but I think this game through so much that it just comes out anywhere.

I only work on the moves that I would do in a game though. I had one man tell me that I better not do that again because he got scared when I did a quick crossover in front of him when I was walking down the street. It ends up being pretty funny.”

The Benefit: “Basketball is so mental and with me being a point guard it’s all about reaction. How are you going to react to any given situation? So I might be walking and see someone in front of me and do a crossover motion or I might spin.

Again, I know it sounds crazy, but it really helps you because it just becomes second nature. I play off my instincts so when you’re constantly working on your handles and your moves it becomes even easier in the game.”

You’re probably muttering to yourself right now about how weird this is. But is it? I couldn’t have been the only kid who used to pretend – mid-conversation – I was throwing Steve Young darts all over the field. It was a habit.

[Related: The Top 10 Best Basketball Movies Ever]

I’ve always wondered if this stuff actually does help. Visualization is a powerful tool – I’m not even kidding about this – but could it really help your game? On some levels, who cares? It’s always fun to pretend you’re breaking people off as you walk down the street.

How often do you find yourself doing this?

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  • First & Foremost

    Oh c’mon, who hasn’t done a reverse lay up through a doorway? I still turn hallway corners like I’m coming off a pick. Feel kind of stupid when I give it too much shoulder and don’t take the turn quite as smoothly.

    What would trip Wall out, would be if walking down the street someone slaps the pavement and Ds him up. Imaginarily stripped and taking his ball the other way. Will he run you down to get it back or give up the easy 2?
    Ballin 24/7

  • SoulChorea

    @ First & Foremost:

    I withdraw the comment I was gonna post, ’cause you put it perfectly. And heck yeah, I’d D him up in GhostBall if I saw that lol…strip the imaginary ball and dunk that joint in a garbage can and yell all in his face haha!

  • First & Foremost

    GhostBall is even more fun with the more people you catch unsuspectingly playing defense.

    Like so…
    You hear someone walking down the hall and as they turn to enter the room, you catch a lob and try to hang on the ledge of the door.

    You know what, we will now call that “ooping”. First planking, then owling, then batmanning, now ooping. To sucessfully complete the act you have to jump, two hand slap the archway/crossbar, and swing through. If I had western salon style doors I would oop the shit out of everyone. However, if someone pins your oop on the glass, you are forever banned from ooping again.

  • Michorizo

    We used to have a guy who was notorious for this. He would jump out in front of us and scare the shit out of just about everyone. He was a crackhead.

  • b

    its been proven that visualisation is as effective as physical training. be it either basketball, general excerice etc it works. google it if you don’t believe me.

    j-wall is gonna be a beast.

    i would fall down laughing if i saw him do that to someone in the street, him or anyone else actually

  • sx

    Seriously, whats going on between dime and john wall?
    it feels like this blog has been a john wall promo all summer long
    i know he’s one of the guys playing all these summergames and all, but damn

  • UncheckedAggression

    I gotta admit I used to do this kind of stuff too. Sometimes I’d even get an idea for how to get by someone and actually test it out while playing a pick-up game.