When: Monday, January 15 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Ish Smith (Quadriceps, Day-to-Day), Anthony Gill (Illness, Day-to-Day), Thomas Bryant (ACL, Out)
Rockets: Victor Oladipo (Foot, Day-to-Day), Christian Wood (Ankle, Out), Brodric Thomas (Ankle, Day-to-Day), Dante Exum (Calf, Out), Chris Clemos (Achilles, Out)
Monday’s game is not only a back-to-back for the Wizards but it also marks John Wall’s first game in D.C. since he was traded for Russell Westbrook in December. There’s no doubt it will be an emotional return for the former Wizards and fans. Be sure to have your tissues ready for the video tribute.
In a story by Fred Katz of The Athletic, Wall gave an inside look to the Wizards-Rockets trade. Wall gave shared his side of the story and the emotions he felt before and after the trade went down. Wall revealed he didn’t feel like the Wizards organization was honest with him leading up to the trade. “I felt like I deserved the honesty and respect because I’ve been there for 10 years. I’ve been through the bad times, when we had shitty teams and when we had good teams in D.C.,” Wall said. The point guard said he never “turned his back on the organization” and played through injuries that a lot of people wouldn’t have. “I played through broken hands in the playoffs. I think I did everything I could and gave everything I had, heart and soul to the organization on and off the court.”
Wall also shared that he voted for Beal for the All-Star game. “Who the hell wouldn’t wanna watch Bradley Beal?” Wall told the Athletic. Wall mentioned one of his first calls after learning that he was traded was to Beal. Wall described the call as “emotional” and said both he and Beal were crying.
The Wizards are looking to avenge their Jan. 26 loss to the Rockets. Wall led his new team with 24 points in their 107-88 win against Washington. Erin Gordon and Victor Oladipo followed with 20 points each. DeMarcus Cousins added a solid 19 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. For the Wizards, Beal led with 33 points. Russell Westbrook had a double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Washington is coming off a 13-point win against the Celtics. All eyes will be on Beal and Wall Monday evening, just like old times.