It has been a long time since the eastern conference of the NBA was as competitive as it is now, and that is thanks in part to the influx of young talent that is starting to transition into full fledged stars in this league. One of those young boys becoming a man is John Wall, who looks like he will be an all-star many times over for years to come. With success comes more stiff competition and having to raise your game every night and Wall thinks two other players specifically are gonna be tied to him.


“I think between me, [Irving] and Derrick, we’re always going to be rivals, in my opinion,” Wall told ESPN.com before the Wizards’ 113-87 loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday. “Number one picks, all in the Eastern Conference, I think it’s going to be a battle for a long time, I mean as long as everybody is healthy and playing. That’s what everybody is going to want to see.”

Rose went No. 1 in 2008, followed by Wall in 2010 and Irving in 2011.

“He makes their team go,” Irving said of Wall after shootaround Wednesday. “He’s such a great point guard in our league and he just makes everybody better out there. And that’s what separates him from all the guards. He has a change of pace now that he didn’t have in his first year, but now the game is slowing down for him so much and he’s become so much better.”

Wall had plenty of compliments for Irving in return.

“He’s a scoring point guard, you know what I mean? So he already could shoot the ball,” Wall said when asked to describe how Irving has progressed since coming out of Duke. “He came in his rookie year and he had a lot of offensive gifts, offensive skills. I think he’s been getting better defensively and things like that and taking the challenge of guarding other players. This is what this league is all about. Just trying to get better every year and improve. … I think he’s still getting better.”

Both players praised Derrick Rose as well, but remember, these matchups can only turn into rivalries if these guys start making the playoffs consistently.