When John Wall takes the court to face the Washington Wizards for the first time since the franchise traded him, he will have some extra motivation.
Wall admitted that after how his exit from Washington was handled, it’s personal and he’s out for revenge.
“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 Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington. “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?”
Wall continued, “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. … So, my ultimate goal is to try to get a win for my team tomorrow.”
Wall didn’t get into specifics or name names, but he wishes that the Wizards would’ve been more honest in the days leading up to the trade that sent him to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook on Dec. 2.
“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,” said Wall. “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.”
In his 10 seasons with the Wizards, Wall’s name was never mentioned in trade rumors, so the experience came as a shock.
However, it is not uncommon for teams to leave the players out of trade conversations and the Wizards chose to ultimately keep those conversations and negotiations from Wall.
The game between the Rockets and Wizards on Jan. 26 just got more interesting with Wall looking to show his former team that he has a lot left in the tank.