Sometimes sports can be cruel.
A lot of Wizards fans have had a tough time dealing with John Wall being traded to the Rockets, and I totally understand it. There are certain players that just resonate with a fanbase, and Wall was clearly one of them.
Let's put the basketball and business part of this aside for a second because I've certainly made my point enough, along with others, as to why this trade makes sense.
That doesn't take away from the emotion this fan base feels dealing with a "business decision" though.
Wall was part of the community, but also brought some of the best memories this organization has ever had on the court.
That cruelness of sports really rears it's ugly head when you think back to this moment in 2017, when it felt like this core group had turned the corner, and was destined for some deeper playoff runs in the future:
I'd put that shot as the second-most iconic moment in Wall's Wizards career, behind what came next:
That moment, Wall standing on the scorer's table after his game-winner against Boston, will forever be etched in Wizards fans' minds. At that moment it felt like this team, having lost to the Hawks the year before when Wall had gotten hurt, turned a corner and was on the verge of that next step, especially since most felt that a healthy Wall against Atlanta in 2016 would've meant a series win, myself included.
That shot in 2017 forced a Game 7 against the Celtics, (and no we won't talk about Kelly Olynyk) and the talk in D.C. was centered around how this core had grown into a legit threat in the East. To win in that moment, showed growth and a real potential to take the next game and the series.
Wall had a career year that season, there had been national conversations about him being the best point guard in the NBA, and it just felt like everything clicked in that moment.
Even after they lost to Boston in Game 7, no one laughed when the phrase "Eastern Conference Finals" was uttered. That was the expectation moving forward.
Then came the injuries, the cruelest of all fates in professional sports. Injuries have derailed so many careers over the course of history that there's no way we could count all the "what ifs" over time.
The trajectory of the organization had suddenly changed, and soon after, so did the roster and expectations.
Now, Wall is off to Houston, where he's looking for a fresh start and a healthy season.
Westbrook comes East, and hopes to get this Wizards team back to where they were when Wall was standing on that scorer's table, and hopes were as high as those pumping fists.
The cruelness of sports can come out of nowhere, but that's part of being a fan.
When you live through the letdowns, it makes the successes that much sweeter, something we've fortunately become very familiar with in Washington.