Never can say goodbye…
Where to start this post is the hard part. Your contributions of what you have accomplished in your 10 years here will be remembered in the DMV community for years to come. To most, you are an NBA Superstar but for others, you have provided blessings whether that be food on the table, scholarship, dedication, and service.
The Wizards and John Wall ended their relationship on December 2nd with a trade that would send him and a First Round pick to Houston for Russell Westbrook. Rumors had been in the air for a couple of weeks about a possible trade but to think it would happen definitely caught most fans off guard. There were also rumors that Wall wanted to be traded but it was never really spoken about. The media tends to have a negative connotation about Wall so it’s really hard to believe anything unless it happens.
When the alert went off, it seemed as if it was just another blockbuster signing or trade before the preseason. Once it was seen “who” was traded, I could not help but feel a sense of overwhelming feelings. An emotional rollercoaster to say the least. First, there was a wave of sadness and despair that was then met with sorrow. To be completely honest, the trade still does not sit well. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
John Wall currently ranks first for Washington Wizard’s in assists (5282), steals (976), assists per game (9.2), and fourth on the all-time scoring list with 10,879 points. John Wall currently ranks second in tenor placing him right under the late and great Wes Unseld for the most games played in a Washington uniform. The true definition of a franchise player with 5x All-Star appearances, 2016-2017 All-NBA and 2014-2015 All-Defense in a Wizard’s uniform.
Wall was able to take the torch from Gilbert Arenas and truly lit this city up with entertaining but heartfelt play.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Seems like yesterday, when John Wall’s Official Hoopmixtape Vol.1 was uploaded. Arguably, one of the most spectacular high school compilations of all time. His ability to just run and gun while being able to stop on the dime was something no other high school kid possessed at the time. From the no-look passes to rim-rattling dunks, you knew this kid was just going to be special and a top 5 NBA draft pick.
Fast forward to John Wall’s first and only year at KY. He was a man amongst boys. Wall’s elusive ability mixed with defensive tenacity was the recipe for success. Overall, Wall was just an immense nightmare of defenses. During his time at KY, Wall averaged 16 points and 6.5 assists and was also named 2009-2010 National Player of the Year, National Freshman of the Year & All-American. There are about 10 more season notes listed but you get the moral. The guy was an animal.
On May 17, 2010, Washington won the NBA Draft Lottery and obtained the rights to pick John Wall. Washington was coming off a horrific season with a 26-56 record. The same year we lost Gilbert Arenas at the beginning of the season because he wanted to be Desperado. Ultimately known as the “Locker Room Gun Incident”.
Coming into the draft, Washington had a 10.3 percent chance to pick first in the 2010 NBA draft. That was all they needed. Once Washington was selected to pick first, it was obvious that John Wall was going to be the first pick. Honestly one of their better choices in the draft because their past moves have been head-scratchers.
*Cough, Cough, Jan Vesely!
One of the most memorable John Wall moments would be the Game 6 game-winner against the Boston Celtics at home but my memorable moment is a little more cheesy.
My favorite John Wall memory has to be his Rookie season. In the intro for this first Washington home game, John came out to the Dougie and it was hilarious. Little did I know that this dude would be the franchise player for the team I love because at the time, I was still on the Gilbert Arenas train. Once he hit the floor, his energy, speed, and elusiveness restored faith in Washington fans.
The city and myself from then on welcomed you with open arms and you have returned the favor in unimaginable ways.
Thank you, John! Thank you for your dedication served to Washington for 10 years. Thank you for playing through knee injuries in order to take us to the playoffs. Thank you for your “202 Assist” program that helps Ward 8 residents impacted by the pandemic. Thank you for being the reason why I know what it is like to see a player from high school grow into a Washington franchise player.
Wall’s career with Washington has hit a dead end but fans will continue to cherish him for years to come. I will be keeping a close eye on Houston and have considered myself a .00000001% fan of Houston. Wish you the best of luck.
Side note: Ok, I am going to go cry again. “Do the John…Wall”