words & interview // Nick DePaula
portraits // Jotham Porzio
As he rose through his high school class rankings, helped to lead a renaissance for Kentucky's storied basketball program and has since starred as the 2010 draft's #1 pick for the Washington Wizards, there's always been one advantage that John Wall has been able to rely on – his quickness.
While the jumper (and roster help) is still to come, he's been playing the game at a different speed than the rest of the league, a league filled with elite guards, ever since he stepped onto the pro hardwood.
Now the newest member of the adidas Basketball family, Wall is hoping to also help to lead their newest silo of sneakers built for his game and playing style. The Crazyquick, which he wore throughout the second half of the season, features an all new segmented adipure outsole that aims to offer up better court feel, traction and control.
We caught up with Wall in New York the night after he debuted the Crazyquick to hear how he's liking the shoe so far, what he thinks of the colorway and what we can expect next from the new partnership.
Check out our interview with designer Robbie Fuller for a breakdown of the Crazyquick's tech and looks.
Nick DePaula: We actually just came from the gym and got to play in the Crazyquick, and you wore them last night for the first time. What was different about them on the court, and what'd you like about them?
John Wall: They were great to me. It's a very light shoe – 11.25 ounces. It's the Crazyquick, so it changes the game for me. I'm already quick, and quicker than my opponent, so I feel like it gives me another advantage, especially with it being light. And I like the colorways. Any time you can have your logo or your name on a shoe, growing up that's a dream come true, so I was very happy.
NDP: And was that silver colorway that you're wearing something that you asked for, just to have it be a little more loud than white, blue and red?
JW: Kind of, and I like loud colors, but adidas actually brought the color to me. I like the way it blends in with my team colors, but it also throws in an off color to it, so it was great.
NDP: What was it like going against Ricky [Rubio] in the shoe for the first time, and also now being apart of a brand that has so many great guards?
JW: It's great. It's like a guard's league now, and we're doing the best we can at the adidas family to get as many as we can. There's a lot of young talent and a lot of young guys at adidas that's doing great, and Ricky is a good player and I think he's just going to get better with time as a guard that's still developing in this league.
NDP: Can you walk me through the logo on the back? Is that going to be your main logo, or are you still working on something?
JW: We're still working on it, and I think that was probably the best one that I liked so far. That'll probably be the one that I use.
NDP: What did you think about the Techfit material? When we were playing in it tonight, it felt a lot more snug and different than some other shoes.
JW: Yeah, I think it's totally different, and it gives me an advantage of stopping, going, breaking and changing direction, especially since I'm quick. If I want to go one way, I can stop, go one way and then go the other way. It was great for me, and wearing it for the first time last night felt great.
NDP: When I was talking with Robbie, the designer, he mentioned how this shoe is all about helping athletes with that one quick play. When you look back on your short career, is there a certain moment that really sticks out as being one of your best quick plays? Whether it was crossing someone over, or something else?
JW: Just about any play I do. Like if I'm chasing someone down and going for a steal, or maybe a change of direction. Everything I do is pretty quick, and it's different from what you see with other guys. I feel like this shoe, being light and the Crazyquick, with already being quick, gives me more of an advantage to be even quicker.
NDP: You're coming over from Reebok after having your own signature shoe there for three years. Were you able to get more comfortable with all of the shoe terms and better at giving feedback along the way? What was going through that process like the last couple years.
JW: I think being with Reebok, you do get better with giving your advice, opinions, feedback and things like that. I feel like when I switched to adidas, right away they came and talked to me and said, “Whatever we do, we're going to keep going forward with it and we're going to make sure we get your opinion from day one.” I think that's something that's a very big key in building my brand and what we do with adidas to make they brand keep improving.
NDP: Now that you've been with the brand for a couple months, do you have three favorite models that you like wearing off court? I see you're wearing the Hackmore today.
JW: I like this shoe, I like Jeremy Scotts and I like Shell Toes. Anybody would like wearing those around. Something you can throw on with socks or no socks in the summer time.
NDP: What's the reaction been from your friends and family now that's it been a couple months of you being with adidas?
JW: I think it was great. My family and everyone on my team were very supportive and we respect everything we did with Reebok, but I feel like with the way my brand wanted to go and with the way adidas is going with their direction, I feel like it was best for us to bond together. Ever since we did, everyone is excited for it and we just keep looking forward to improving.