John Wall will be back in D.C. on Monday for the first time since the Wizards traded him to the Houston Rockets prior to the 2020-21 season.
It was a move that surprised Wall, who said in a recent interview with The Athletic that the organization never discussed or warned him about a possible trade.
“I felt like I deserved the honesty and respect because I’ve been there for 10 years,” he said. “I’ve been through the bad times, when we had s----y teams and when we had good teams in D.C. I never turned my back on the organization.
“I played through damn near every injury that a lot of people wouldn’t have played through. I played through broken hands in the playoffs. I think I did everything I could and gave everything I had, heart and soul to the organization on and off the court.”
The Wizards drafted Wall with the first overall pick and gave him a lucrative four-year, $170 million extension in 2019.
But shortly after the deal was signed Wall would miss the entire 2019-20 season due to a number of injuries. In fact, the last time Wall had played at least 50 games in a season was in 2016-17.
Wall, who has played in 17 of 26 games so far this season, was hoping for another chance to "run it back" with Bradley Beal this season before he was traded for Russell Westbrook.
“That was [my] and our ultimate goal,” he said. “It was ‘OK, we’re gonna give it one more shot.’ If it’s just one year or two years, we were gonna give it one more shot just to see. …And it’s just crazy we never got to do that.
“I don’t think they wanted to do that. …which is cool. But that was the most frustrating thing than anything. Like, to have another opportunity to run it back with my brother and playing with the guy, the level he’s on now.”
Some have speculated about Wall's relationship with Beal, but the point guard said that Beal was one of the first teammates he called after learning he was traded.
“It was emotional,” he said. “Both of us were crying.”