John Wall has had an extremely eventful, and lengthy, offseason since rupturing his Achilles tendon in 2019 following heel surgery that sidelined him in late 2018. During his time off from basketball, a recent video went viral featuring the 5-time All-Star throwing up what seemed to be gang signs while at a party in Brooklyn.
Wall has since apologized for his actions, publicly and to the Washington Wizards front office. ESPN's Zach Lowe asked GM Tommy Sheppard on a recent episode of the Lowe Post podcast how he went about handling the situation with one of his franchise cornerstones.
"It’s certainly very disappointing to see something like that. Knowing the persona and character of John Wall. It’s a difficult conversation," Sheppard said. "You can’t get framed if you aren’t in the picture. We can say that’s not who you are but if you’re in that photo, it goes around the world before you have a chance to explain."
Sheppard continued, "He made atone for it, he apologized immediately, the past is the past. Learn from the past don't live there. Now if it happens again that’s a situation where you’re like ‘okay, you didn’t learn from that.’ I’m sure John learned plenty there. It hurt him, it hurt the franchise, but he made atone for it, we've got to move on.
"Certainly doesn’t represent who John Wall really is. If you look at the millions of dollars he’s donated to charity, the hours, and things that he does can be undone by one photo," Sheppard said.
Wall is expected to return to the court for the first time since December 2018 when the NBA season returns in December.