With his new supermax contract keeping him in Washington for the next six seasons and into his 30s, Wizards point guard John Wall has outlined some specific goals he would like to reach by the time his playing career is over. Over and over at his press conference on Friday the ideas of winning a championship in Washington and getting his jersey up in the rafters were mentioned.
"I'm not going to stop until I get my jersey retired here and a banner here for a championship," he said during his opening remarks.
Team president Ernie Grunfeld even mentioned the jersey part.
"We hope one day he has his number up in the rafters and be one of the few players ever to maybe finish his career with one team," Grunfeld said.
The goal of his number being retired seems very attainable for Wall. One could argue he would deserve the honor if he left Washington today. The man already owns franchise records for career assists and steals, plus the single-season mark for assists. He's made four All-Star appearances, one All-NBA team and has led the Wizards to three playoff appearances in four years, including 2016-17 when they had their best season in 38 years.
The Bullets/Wizards franchise has only four retired numbers: 10 (Earl Monroe), 11 (Elvin Hayes), 25 (Gus Johnson), 41 (Wes Unseld). The last time any of those players appeared in a game for the franchise was 1981 (Hayes and Unseld).
What Wall has done is already rare in the context of the Wizards' franchise. His four All-Star nods are the most for any Washington player since 1980. He is the first to earn All-NBA since Gilbert Arenas in 2007. Wall and Arenas are two of only three Wizards players (plus Rod Strickland) to make All-NBA in the last 20 years and only 13 have ever earned the honor in franchise history.
Wall's seven seasons in Washington are tied for 12th-most for the franchise. One more year and he will be tied for eighth. Two more seasons and Wall will be tied for second. Unseld holds the record, having played 13 seasons for the Bullets. Wall's new contract, a four-year deal worth $170 million that begins in 2019-20 is set to keep him in D.C. through his 13th NBA season.
Wall is already seventh in franchise history in career points and is on pace to crack the top three this next season based on his career averages. He needs just 30 games to enter the top 10 for games played in franchise history. If he plays a full season he will crack the top six.
Wall's playoff success has been rare for the franchise, as well. He has led the Wizards to three appearances in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after Washington had only been once since 1982 and just twice since 1979.
Add it all up and it's a safe bet no player will ever wear the No. 2 jersey in Washington once Wall's time with the Wizards is over.
Now, as for that second goal. Obviously, winning a championship is much more difficult and unpredictable than Wall having his jersey retired. The franchise has a title, but hasn't even been to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1979.
It won't be easy, but clearly Wall is motivated to continue building on the success he has had with Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and others.
"We definitely have a lot of unfinished business. I want to bring a championship here, so we're going to keep striving to get that. I'm not going to stop until we get there. That's why I wanted to come back to this city," Wall said.