Rockets John Wall on 24-Point Game vs. Wizards: They 'Thought I Was Done'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIJanuary 27, 2021

Houston Rockets' John Wall applauds a call, next to Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

John Wall gave a succinct answer on why he felt the Washington Wizards traded him after the Houston Rockets defeated his former team, 107-88, at Toyota Center.   

"I just feel like the organization thought I was done," Wall told the Houston broadcast after dropping 24 points in the win. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“I just feel like their organization thought I was done. … That’s why I came out here and did what I did.” John Wall took the Wizards-Rockets game personal. https://t.co/Xh7JRB0YDF

Tuesday showed that wasn't quite the case. Despite facing a minutes restriction in his second game back after missing five straight contests with a sore knee, Wall put together a strong fourth quarter to finish with 24 points, five assists and two rebounds against his long-time club. 

The point guard said he should've finished with at least 30 points and a few more assists, but the adrenaline got to him. Instead, he shot 9-of-21 from the field and 1-of-6 on three-pointers and committed three turnovers. 

He also got into a shouting match with Russell Westbrook—the former Rockets guard for whom Wall was traded—that resulted in double technical fouls late in the fourth quarter. That frame was unquestionably Wall's best even if some of his scoring was done in garbage time. 

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

John Wall says it was "just basic basketball trash talk" with Russell Westbrook that led to double Ts. Also notes he hasn't gotten best of Russ often. "Russ been kicking my ass for years. He’s a hell of a talent. This ain’t the first time we’ve trash talked before."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Russ and John Wall chirping 👀 https://t.co/FGOxVzCFO5

Wall added nine points to his total in the fourth, and only a few missed layups stopped him from reaching 30. 

"It was great," Wall said of the win. "... It wasn't really nothing about proving nothing for me. I knew how hard I worked over the past two years."

Wizards fans finally got to see that hard work pay off. Wall just happened to be wearing a different jersey.

As much as the guard wanted to finish what he started in D.C., he seems at peace with where he's at—or, more specifically, where he isn't. 

"I never wanna be nowhere I'm not wanted," Wall said, "and I feel like this organization wanted me here."

That's working well for Houston, which now owns a three-game winning streak and is getting stronger by the day with only Christian Wood out of the lineup due to an ankle injury. 

The Rockets visit the Wizards on Feb. 15. The rematch will be worth watching.