Houston Rockets guard John Wall is opening up about his departure from the Washington Wizards ahead of his upcoming matchup in D.C., Monday. Wall says the team failed to give him “honesty and respect,” which offended him after he spent a decade with the organization.
Wall spoke with The Athletic to speak about his feelings going into Monday’s game:
I felt like I deserved the honesty and respect because I’ve been there for 10 years. 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 in the 2010 NBA Draft. In the years following, Wall and the Wizards failed to get farther than the Conference Semifinals.
Carmen Mandato / Getty Images
Bradley Beal joined the Wizards in 2012 and, despite rumors of their animosity, Wall and Beal clearly developed a close relationship.
“It was emotional,” Wall said, describing the moment he informed Beal that he was headed to Houston. “Both of us were crying.”
He continued: “The number one goal is, you didn’t give me the opportunity for me and Brad to run it back, like y’all said we [would]. That was [my] and our ultimate goal. 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. I think they moved forward and did whatever they wanted, which is cool. But that was the most frustrating thing than anything. Like, to have an opportunity to run it back with my brother and playing with the guy, the level he’s on now.”