John Wall pronounces himself career-rivals with fellow Eastern Conference All-Star guards Derek Rose and Kyrie Irving.

“I think between me, Irving and Derrick, we’re always going to be rivals, in my opinion,” Wall told ESPN.com. “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 to the Bulls in 2008, while Wall and Irving went to the Wizards and Cavs as the top picks in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

At least in Wall’s mind, their rivalries became even more intense over the summer when Rose and Irving were selected for the FIBA World Cup team that eventually earned a gold medal in Spain. Irving was ultimately named MVP of the tournament, while Wall was cut from the team during training camp.

The now 26-year-old Rose has the added distinction of being tabbed the youngest MVP in league history under his belt. Rose won the award n 2010-11 after averaging 25 points eight assists and four rebounds.

Further debate involving Irving and Wall was sparked during the preseason when Wall’s backcourt mate Bradley Beal declared his Wizards’ backcourt the best in the East. Irving’s running mate, Dion Waiters, later deemed that “nonsense” and handed the unofficial title to Irving and himself.

“It’s just talk, you know what I mean? It’s competitive, though,” Wall said. “You’re never going to want to say somebody else has a better backcourt. That’s just how you are. That’s how you make the game more exciting, and it makes the game more intense. But you know, we’re playing for the team that we have across our chest and our city. So, that’s who I go out there and compete for every night.”

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]