NBA All-Star John Wall spends most of his free time playing video games. And while he does dabble in 2K Sports’ NBA 2K15, his franchise of choice is Activision’s Call of Duty. The Washington Wizards point guard, who finished with more assists (721) than any other NBA player in the 2013-14 season and recently got his own sneaker, hits the sticks daily with teammates or venturing online against hardcore gamers playing Call of Duty: Ghosts. The number-one pick in the 2010 NBA Draft explains why he answers the Call of Duty every fall in this exclusive interview.
When did you get interested in the Call of Duty video game franchise?
I’ve always been into it, you know what I mean? Call of Duty is an exciting game. I’m a big action movie guy, so Call of Duty -- from the performances of Academy Award winning actors in the campaign -- is very exciting to me. I like action games. I like action fighting games, so shooting and camping out is a lot of fun. I really enjoy the game.
How good are you at Call of Duty: Ghosts?
I’m great. I beat the game…it probably took me like two days to beat it. I still like playing it. I started playing Call of Duty in college with my teammates and we’d just play all day long.
How does that carry over when it comes to playing Call of Duty online against some of those hardcore players?
Oh, I’m good. I played against Dwight Howard two years ago and him and his guys made me improve my game a lot. I got better because I couldn’t do nothing against them.
Can you give us a sense of how popular Call of Duty is among NBA players?
Well, it’s big. All my teammates, when we’re on the road, I bring my game and we’ll be playing against each other online trying to see if we can get the most kills and stuff like that. So there’s this big game throughout the NBA, a lot of people are really excited and ready for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to come out. I’m always anticipating a new Call of Duty to come out.
What are you specifically excited about when it comes to the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?
I’m very excited about the new power exoskeletons that allow players to get amazing abilities to jump high and move fast, and so I mean like that so that my game speed like I run in the game is going faster and I can jump over people and stab them – all type of things.
When it comes to Ghosts there are a lot of different multiplayer modes and maps? What do you like to play?
We just go random. When we play Ghosts we just go online and we try to make bets throughout four or five of my teammates and we just go on a spree to see how many can get the most kills and it’s always random. Whoever is winning, whoever is the leader of our group gets to pick.
This marks the third consecutive year in which a different Call of Duty story is introduced. What does that open up for you as a gamer?
Well, that’s the biggest thing. Any time they make a game the first year you play and you get excited and then there’s a couple of adjustments that I hope that they make. When they make those new adjustments, there’s always some that are going to keep coming and improving it so you got to improve on. It’s just like in basketball you got to improve every year to get better. Every game has to get better year by year, but the graphics, the guns, the different grenades and things you use like making the person hide with camouflage, all those things makes the game better, so Activision has been doing a great job of improving that.
What would you like to see Activision add to the next Call of Duty game?
Oh, that’s pretty tough. I got to wait and see what this new game has in store from me, see what they added to it because I go based on every year what they did to see what adjustments I can make. But in the past they’ve been doing a great job at adding new pieces to it.