The Washington Times - March 29, 2011, 05:07PM

In an interview with HoopsHype.com, Wizards guard John Wall discusses Derrick Rose, Gilbert Arenas, Kirk Hinrich, his jump shot, and being a leader at the tender age of 20.

On Derrick Rose:

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“My goal is to get to his level and get better. It took time for him to progress. That’s something I’m trying to do. I know a lot of teams are giving open shots to me. In some games, I’m hot and I’m making it. I some games, I make one out of four.”

“But I think if I’m making it more consistently, it’s going to be tougher for guys to guard me. That’s something Derrick really did, and now it’s tougher for teams to stop him.’’

On improving his jump shot:  

“I try to shoot a thousand a day. But I want to do it more where I’m really jumping. Last summer, I wasn’t really jumping on my jump shot, just shooting a set shot. You can’t do that in this league. Guys are fast and they’re closing out. So you’re going to see me work and I’m going to come back with an improved jumper next year.”

On opposing defenses:

Wall said he plans to “make them pay”.

On Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich:

“It wouldn’t have been bad to have [Arenas] around to hear him say certain things and teach me about the basketball game and learn. But things didn’t work out and they made the trade and now I’m learning on the fly. When they let (Arenas) go, I still had Kirk Hinrich around. That was really helping me.”

“Now, I’m really just trying to learn on my own. It’s tough. It’s tough. It’s a learning process for me. But it was great to have those two guys around while they were here and give me the help they did. Gil was teaching me the ropes of how to do it offensively and taking my time and Kirk was helping me with my defense as much as possible.”

On his leadership role:

 “I’m vocal. I say certain stuff, but at 20 years old and most of these are guys are older than me by four years, you didn’t want to say too much and come in thinking you’re bigger and better than them.”

“But I feel like I got all their trust. They trust me as a point guard. They trust me as leading the team. Now I just got to step up and tell people where to be and get in people’s faces if they’re doing wrong. And if I’m doing it wrong, they get in my face without us arguing. Let it be team chemistry and holding each other accountable.”

Teammate Maurice Evans also told HoopsHype.com that Wall is soon to become an ever bigger force to be reckoned with.

“Once he really develops a more consistent outside shot and gets more confidence in that, he’s going to be a terror in this league because of his speed, ball-handling, all the other intangibles, his athleticism.”

(Courtesy of HoopsHype.com)