John Wall played what might have been the best game of his life on Monday night, but nobody's going to remember his stat line.
That's because the point guard broke down in tears after the Washington Wizards' 133-132, double-overtime win over the Boston Celtics, overcome with emotion when asked about what the game meant for him personally.
Wall grew close to six-year-old cancer patient Damiyah Telemaque-Nelson last year, facilitating a meeting with Nicki Minaj at the young girl's request.
Damiyah passed away before the Wizards game on Monday, and Wall responded to the heartbreaking news by playing brilliantly in her honor.
After the contest and postgame interview, Wall said goodbye to his friend and offered condolences to her family.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still — whose daughter Leah is undergoing treatment for cancer — offered a poignant message to Wall's Instagram account: "man to man I respect the hell out of you for everything you did for Miyah and her family. I know from going through the battle myself that making memories with these kids are something you hold on to forever. No kid should have to go through this fight smh #RIPMIYAH"
There's no way to transition from real, genuine, meaningful moments like this to Wall, the Wizards or something as silly as a basketball game. Normally, we'd laud his growth as a player. We'd praise his ability to step up for his team in a big game under extremely difficult circumstances.
Monday reminded us of two things.
But that doesn't really matter, and we know it.
Every so often, we get reminders that basketball (and all sports) are just diversions. But they're also platforms, and Wall used his to do some real good for somebody who deserved it.
Which brings us to the second thing Monday reminded us of: