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The striking similarities between the John Wall era and the Gilbert Arenas era for the Wizards

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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 3: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards talks with former NBA player, Gilbert Arenas before the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 3, 2016 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew D. Bernstein, Getty Images

On the surface, it doesn't look like Gilbert Arenas and John Wall have much in common, other than being star point guards who led the Wizards to the playoffs. They play different styles, wear different uniforms, and played under different owners. But when you take a deeper look, you start to see that they've dealt with a lot of the same experiences during their times as the franchise player in Washington.


Arenas era (2003-09) Wall era (2010-Present)
Star player Gilbert Arenas, an explosive point guard who was voted as a starter to one All-Star game and played in two others. During his peak, he was celebrated as a great community ambassador by local fans and lambasted by some national media for excessive celebrations. John Wall, an explosive point guard who has been voted as a starter to one All-Star game and played in two others. During his peak, he's been celebrated as a great community ambassador by local fans and lambasted by some national media for excessive celebrations.
Second option Caron Butler, an intriguing wing player who showed the ability to take over games at times, but was also beset by injuries and a fascination with taking mid-range jumpers. Bradley Beal, an intriguing wing player who has shown the ability to take over games at times, but has also been beset by injuries and a fascination with mid-range jumpers.
Complementary big man Antawn Jamison, a unique big man the Wizards acquired by trading a first round pick. His touch around the rim and his pick & pop skills made him a natural fit alongside the team's point guard. Marcin Gortat, a unique big man the Wizards acquired by trading a first round pick. His touch around the rim and his pick & roll skills made him a natural fit alongside the team's point guard.
Elite defensive wing player Larry Hughes helped the Wizards to a first-round playoff victory over the Bulls and then he signed a big free agent deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Trevor Ariza helped the Wizards to a first-round playoff victory over the Bulls and then he signed a big free agent deal with the Houston Rockets.
Promising assistant coach the Wizards let get away Tom Thibodeau Sam Cassell
Wing player who revived his career in Washington. After an injury-plagued stint in Orlando, DeShawn Stevenson signed in Washington on a cheap deal. He rewarded the Wizards faith in him with a career year, especially when it came to shooting threes. The team rewarded him with an extension the following summer. Stevenson was never able to recapture the magic after signing his new deal. After an injury-plagued stint in Minnesota, Martell Webster signed in Washington on a cheap deal. He rewarded the Wizards faith in him with a career year especially when it came to shooting threes. The team rewarded him with an extension the following summer. Webster was never able to recapture the magic after signing his new deal.
Athletic wing player who shows promise, but can also make some baffling decisions at times. Nick Young Kelly Oubre
International big man drafted ahead of three future All-Stars Oleksiy Pecherov was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2006, ahead of Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Paul Millsap. Jan Vesely was taken with the 6th overall pick in 2011, ahead of Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler.
Big men who played better when they didn't have to share the court with each other Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas Marcin Gortat and Nene
Talented, young big man whose tantalizing potential lured the team into offering a long-term deal. Andray Blatche Andray Blatche
Second round draft pick who hasn't played for the team since he was drafted. Vladimir Veremeenko Tomas Satoransky
Rallying cry of the optimist The Wizards could have made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007 if Gilbert Arenas hadn't hurt his knee. The Wizards could have made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015 if John Wall hadn't hurt his hand.
Rallying cry of the pessimist Once they reached the playoffs, the Wizards seemed more interested in moves to uphold the status quo rather than moves to push the team to next level. Once they reached the playoffs, the Wizards seemed more interested in moves to uphold the status quo rather than moves to push the team to next level.
Response to a disappointing, injury-plagued season where the Wizards missed the playoffs for the first time after multiple appearances. Fired their coach and then traded a lottery pick to address a position of need with Mike Miller and Randy Foye. They also unloaded some bad contracts (Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, and Oleksiy Pecherov) in the process. Traded a lottery pick to address a position of need with Markieff Morris. They also unloaded some bad contracts (DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries) in the process. As of this writing, the coach has not been fired.