The Washington D.C. community was rocked with Wednesday's news that John Wall was getting shipped down to Houston for Russell Westbrook. Whether it was losing the nostalgic factor of having one of the fanbase's own No. 1 draft pick from 10 years ago or the anguish that comes with not seeing the payoff from two years of recovery from an arduous Achilles injury, it was all difficult to stomach when the news dropped.
Those sentiments were extended to a couple of Wall's former Wizards teammates now with the Chicago Bulls.
“John Wall meant a lot," Otto Porter said to the media on Friday. "It was unbelievable when I found out the news, but he means so much to that community. You know, me going to Georgetown and John, it was his first couple years in D.C. and everything that he stood for, the swag that he brought back to the Wizards and, you know, the community just loves him."
Porter, who played six seasons in the nation's capital with Wall from 2013-2019, was a fundamental part for most of the John Wall era. The former Hoya established himself as the third option at small forward in Washington and saw firsthand the impact Wall's stardom and philanthropy had.
In the same vein, Porter's current teammate also spoke of just how big a figure Wall was to the DMV.
“He meant a lot," Tomas Satoransky said. "It’s obviously very fresh him being traded to Houston. What I’ve seen what Tommy Sheppard said about it that was one of the toughest trades that he was part of because I know what John meant to D.C. and the fan base."
Satoransky played from 2016-2019 with Wall before a sign-and-trade deal sent him to play with Porter and the Bulls this past season. Even though Wall spent much longer recovering from injuries during Satoransky's time with the Wizards than Porter's, the Czech Republic playmaker still knows just how special he was to every Wizards fan.
"It’s going to be tough for them," Satoransky said. "It’s going to be very strange not seeing him around the team. But that’s the way how it goes in this league and I just want to wish him good luck in Houston because he definitely deserves to have a good season after those two years he struggled with injury.”
Though Wall may not sport a Wizards jersey any longer, he'll always be remembered for the joy he brought basketball fans here. "They embrace him and he embraces the community there," Porter said. "And you know, John Wall will always be a part of the community in DC.”
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago contributed to this report.