“At Some Point, It Is Out Of Your Hands”: John Wall Recalls Russell Westbrook’s Text Message was how he Found Out About his Trade  

Arun Sharma
|Published January 20, 2023

John Wall is a well-loved figure in the state of Washington. As franchise players for a decade, John Wall and Bradley Beal formed a heartwarming yet devastating partnership. The duo got along like wood and fire; they were inseparable.

They both got maximum deals at the same time—such was the trust in the pair. Washington still had a pair of “bullets” in their hands, long after they changed their name from the Bullets to the Wizards. The magic was there for everyone to see—at one point, they were going toe-to-toe with the Boston Celtics.

And then it all changed one day when Wall decided to be a letdown and throw up gang signs on a leaked private video.

Also Read: “We Were Gonna Beat the S**t out of LeBron James”: John Wall Boldly Claims 4x MVP was terrified of the 2016-17 Wizards

John Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets – He found out about the news via a text Message

John Wall had it all—name, fame, and the money that came along with it. But, like his predecessor Gilbert Arenas, a bad influence and a brief lapse in judgment cost him his home. Only this time, he did not bring a gun to a locker room; he acted like he was part of the rampant problem of people carrying guns.

Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Wizards, had a problem with Wall and his antics on video. While he claimed to have harmed no one, the damage had been done. The Wizards were finally on their way back after the Guns incident, and they didn’t want another scandal to ruin their plans.

Trade rumors begin as inside talk; this time around, the rumor started at the root. Russell Westbrook, who was in Houston at that time, messaged Wall out of the blue to ask about any chatter that he was a part of. It came as a shock to Wall because he had no intentions of leaving.

He was not aware that the owner was looking to get rid of him. He had given 10 years to the franchise; he was ready to give many more.

John Wall had just lost his mom that year, plus he was recovering from a long-term injury himself. His world wasn’t all roses and sunshine; his birthday party was to cheer him up. To him, he just acted goofy, but to his employers, he was being a bad influence.

Also Read: John Wall signed a $207 million contract and gifted teammates Rolexes worth $600,000

Wall disconnected after his world had collapsed – he was peeved that he got booted in such a fashion

Even after receiving the news from Westbrook, he did not throw his toys out of the crib. Wall was the ultimate professional, and he continued with his training. He even attended the camp, where the Wizards owner turned up. According to Wall, the reason he did it was to give a press interview, at which many lies were told.

He was asked to take photos for media day, to which he replied, “If this is the last time I wear the Wizards jersey, I won’t do it“. In his mind, he was disrespecting the jersey and doing it a disservice. But he still pulled through, and two days later, he sees a news scroll with his name on the trading block.

The deed had been done: He was uprooted from his home. Westbrook was coming to take his place alongside Bradley Beal, and the city was in despair. They were losing a hero, who not only played brilliant basketball but was also a humanitarian.

Imagine spending a cold, wintery Christmas not with your family but distributing 2000 Wizards’ gifts to the public. That is exactly what John Wall was doing days before he was axed. The crowd has never forgiven the Wizards’ front office for moving their hero away from them.

At some point, it is out of my hands,”  he told a fan when they asked him to stay. Business. Basketball has always been about business, and Wall was just another victim.

Also Read: “Playing With Larry Bird and Michael Jordan One Time Was on My Bucket List”: Magic Johnson Reflects on Dream Team Experience With His Rivals

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About the author

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

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