John Wall isn't happy with the way the Washington Wizards handled his trade to the Houston Rockets. After giving his all to the team for over a decade, Wall says he felt like the Wizards weren't honest or respectful regarding his exit from the organization, and feels like they weren't forthright about the possibility he could be moved.
"I said all I ever wanted from the start was honesty. You know what I mean? Just tell me the truth, what it was. I can deal with it," Wall said in an interview with Fred Katz of The Athletic. "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 shitty 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," Wall continued. "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."
Despite general manager Tommy Sheppard publicly denying the team had any plans to trade Wall in late November, the Wizards ultimately dealt the veteran to the Houston Rockets on Dec. 2 in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
"Everybody kept telling me, 'No, it's not true. Don't believe it. Don't believe it,'" Wall said regarding the swirling trade speculation. "And I'm like, I know Houston probably called them first. But it's part of the business. Why wouldn't you call if somebody wants to be traded? You know what I mean? And it's not nothing, just having conversations. And that's all I wanted. If you're having conversations, that's cool, I get it. Nobody could ever tell me the truth about it."
Wall is happy in Houston, but the fact he didn't get an opportunity to play another season with longtime teammate and friend Bradley Beal is something that has left a bad taste in Wall's mouth, especially considering how well Beal is playing this season. Beal is currently leading the NBA with an average of 32.8 points per game entering Sunday's game against the Celtics.
"The No. 1 goal is, you didn't give me the opportunity for me and Brad to run it back, like y'all said we [would]," Wall said. "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."
Wall will return to Washington to play against the Wizards as a member of the Rockets for the first time on Monday night, and it's safe to say he's looking to walk away with a win.
"When I play the Wizards I wanna win every time we play them," Wall said. "Any time you get traded from a team, you wanna win every time you play them, so that's my ultimate goal."
Wall may not be a member of the Wizards anymore, but he certainly left his mark on the franchise. As it stands, Wall is Washington's all-time leader in assists and steals, and he's fourth in terms of total points scored. When you combine his on-court production with his off-court impact in the community, it's clear that Wall won't be forgotten in Washington anytime soon.