Wall found out Wizards traded him while planning son's birthday originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
When you get traded away from the team you were drafted by, spent 10 years with and developed deep roots within a city's community, there's never a convenient time to be told that news.
In John Wall's case, he was in the middle of planning his son Ace's birthday when he got the call from the Wizards informing him he was being traded for Russell Westbrook.
"It was kind of strange," Wall told The Athletic's Shams Charania. "It was in the midst of me trying to plan my son's birthday on December 5, and then the night of December 2, I get the call that I'd been traded."
Due to the timing of the deal, Wall didn't have time to sit around and take in the news. Training camp was underway and he had to get acclimated to his new team before the regular season started three weeks later.
After 10 years with one team, those relationships and memories don't go away.
"It was tough, very tough," he said. "My heart will always be there, that's like my second home being in DC for 10 years, doing so much in that community, getting drafted there, breaking records there. They watched me grow from a young boy to a man, so they all have my love and my support there."
Wall's focus continues to be on returning to the court for the first time in over two years. An Achilles injury robbed him of part of his prime with the Wizards, and now with the Rockets, it's up to him to reclaim his status in the league as one of the best point guards in the game.
"It's part of a business, so my mindset is, 'OK I'm in Houston now, this is the team I have, I get to be a leader here,'" he said. "Sometimes getting a fresh start, it's best to have a fresh start. I'm very excited for that."
His debut was supposed to be on Dec. 23, but he found himself in the NBA's COVID-19 protocol as a close contact to a positive case. He never contracted the virus, so he's fully cleared to make his Rockets debut Thursday night against the Kings.
"I read all the stuff that say, 'Oh, [Wall's] done, not athletic, not fast anymore,' ranked No. 81 [in the NBA]," he said. "All that is, is more motivation for me to try to prove people wrong.
Tune in at 4 PM to NBC Sports Washington on Thursday for complete coverage of the Wizards' next game against the Chicago Bulls.