Rockets star John Wall’s true feelings on facing Wizards for the first time since trade
Tuesday’s matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards will be the first time John Wall will be facing his former team since making the move to Houston. It will be an emotional moment for Wall, who himself admitted that this contest has weighed heavily on his mind for some time now.
In a recent interview, the five-time All-Star expressed how there’s a bit of bad blood entering Tuesday’s contest:
“Just seeing everybody that’s over there, a lot of people that’s on that side that probably didn’t believe I could come back to be the person I am. And probably some people that had a little say so into me being traded,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller.
“I feel like it was a whole process and it wasn’t just something that happened overnight. I think this was in the works. That’s my motivation. Who wouldn’t want to beat the team that traded them and felt like I was done?”
Clearly, Wall did not part ways with the Wizards in the most amicable of terms. It seems that he’s still feeling a bit salty after Washington — a team he has given everything to for the past nine years — unceremoniously sent him packing not too long ago.
When asked if this game was going to be personal for him, Wall did not hesitate with his response:
“I feel like it is. I definitely feel so because, I know I had my say so and my responsibilities with what I did off the court and things I [did], but I owned up to those. I said my apologies and that’s the best I can do. Nobody’s perfect. We all live and learn from our mistakes. I wish it would have never happened, but it happened, yes. I moved forward from it. My mindset was to come back and compete at a high level in the one jersey I only knew for 10 years,” Wall said, perhaps referencing the offseason video he apologized for that purportedly showed him flashing gang signs at a party.
“I just wish I would have known up front and not have to beat around the bush to figure things out. That’s just my motivation there. They thought I was done. Basically, that’s how I feel. This is my opportunity to show them that I’m not done. But the most important thing for me is get the win. I don’t care how many numbers I have, it’s about getting the win. That’s the most important thing because if I get 40 and then we lose, the trade don’t look as bad from their aspect because they beat us that one game they did play us. So, my ultimate goal is to try to get a win for my team tomorrow.”
Wall’s tirade did not end there. The 30-year-old even went on to say that he was kept in the dark during the trade discussions, implying that the Wizards front office outright lied to him:
“Most importantly, all I really wanted from the start of all of it was just to be told the truth. That’s the most important thing and what made it so hard for me to understand what was going on because I wasn’t told the truth. I understand it’s a business and things go on and people move on and you get traded, organizations in different ways. When I heard the rumors, I called and asked are these true or are these something not to worry about? From that day forward, all I heard was ‘no, those rumors aren’t true, don’t worry about it.’ In all reality, it was true,” Wall said.
This is tough to hear for Wizards fans who have backed John Wall as the team’s cornerstone superstar for many, many years. Wall clearly feels that he was treated poorly in the moments leading up to the blockbuster trade — something that a man who gave his all for the team and the city for nearly a decade certainly did not deserve.