With Wizards facing John Wall, Pregame Live cast reveal their favorite ex-teammate

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Julius Long
·2 min read
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Pregame Live cast reveals their favorite ex-teammate originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tuesday's Wizards-Rockets game brought Russell Westbrook back to Houston to face his former team, and of course, John Wall's first time playing against the team he led for a decade. 

And as a longtime NBA player, Brendan Haywood knows a little something about what the duo was feeling leading up to Tuesday's game.

“Anytime you’re playing against your old team for the first time, it’s a little something special,” Haywood said on NBC Sports Washington's Pregame Live. “You always want to get the one up on the team that just traded you and let you go.”

But playing against former teammates can be joyful experience even when you’ve got something to prove to your former employer. On Wizards Pregame Live, Haywood, Drew Gooden, and Jason Smith — who all know a little something about getting traded — recalled their favorite meetings against former teammates.

“This is tough, because I had a lot of former teammates,” Gooden said when asked to pick one. Gooden played the final two seasons of his career in Washington, after playing with nine other teams during his 14 years in the NBA. But he told the story of how Joakim Noah, then with the Bulls, completely snubbed him when they played each other just one week after the two returned from vacationing together.

“He didn’t even speak to me during the game. He didn’t even shake my hand at the jump ball before the game,” Smith said. “I thought that was hilarious, so Joakim Noah is definitely my favorite.”

It was all love with former teammate Ryan Anderson after Smith was traded from New Orleans to the New York Knicks. “It’s so hard not to be buddy buddy on the court with a former teammate that you’ve become so close with. So Ryan Anderson was my guy that I went out there and we had a good time on the floor.”

For Beal and Wall, a handshake before the game showed what Wall spoke about earlier this week: Their bond was always bigger than basketball.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Minnesota
+150+3.5O 235.5
Washington
-182-3.5U 235.5