John Wall seems to be fully healthy heading into the 2022-2023 season. After a short stint with the rebuilding Houston Rockets, Wall is now on a Clippers team led by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, considered a Finals contender in the deep and competitive Western Conference.
The journey of an 82-game NBA season always has storylines and developing factors that can create a remarkable year. In Wall’s case, one of the highlights he expects from this upcoming season is his return to Washington, D.C.
Wall was the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft for the Washington Wizards, and after nine years with the team, he is expecting a standing ovation when he crosses the country to play against his former squad.
“I never had the opportunity to be back to play in front of [Wizards] fans,” Wall said. “So, hopefully, I’ll get that big standing ovation that I think I deserve.”
Wall believes he’s a candidate for the ovation because of his five All-Star seasons with the Wizards and his leading the team to four consecutive playoff appearances from 2014-2018. Wizards fans saw Wall at his best during the 2017 playoffs when he averaged 27.2 points, 10.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He hit a game-winner in Game 6 of the Wizards’ second-round series against the Celtics, but Washington’s season ended after losing Game 7.
The 32-year-old hopes to play a full season since his ruptured Achilles in 2019 had kept him away from the game for nearly two years. If he does stay healthy, Wall can fulfill his wishes of playing Washington as an opponent for the first time on Dec. 10, a game that will feature deep emotion and gratitude from both sides. At the end of the day, it’ll be great to relive some of his favorite career moments in the city that first adopted him.
“My ultimate goal was trying to bring a championship there,” said Wall. “everything I gave to that city, from playing through my injuries, giving back to the community, it felt like a second home to me.”
Houston will play in Washington on Dec. 10.
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