Wall's first 10 years, by the numbers
On this day 10 years ago, the Wizards selected John Wall with the number one overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. Wall wasted no time carving out an identity for himself in the league: an uber-athletic, high-IQ guard that can change a game on each end of the court – one that he maintained for each of his first nine seasons in the league.
While Wall has spent the 2019-20 season on the sideline recovering from an Achilles injury, his impact has hardly waned. Throughout the season, Wall has remained active on the sidelines, serving essentially as another assistant coach and helping with the development of Washington’s bevy of young players. Head coach Scott Brooks welcomed the input from Wall, calling him a “savant” who will have no trouble entering the coaching or front office ranks when his playing career concludes. Wall’s contributions this season have spanned beyond the court as well. Most recently, Wall and the John Wall Family Foundation started the 202 Assist program to provide rent relief for Ward 8 residents hit hard by COVID-19. After setting an initial goal of $300K, the program closed Sunday having raised nearly double that, sending over $550,000 in rent relief, including $100,000 of his own donations, to one of the most underserved regions of the greater D.C. area.
Next season, Wizards fans and the NBA as a whole will witness Wall’s return to action. When that days comes, he’ll enter the second decade of his career as one of the most accomplished players in franchise history and one of the most intriguing injury return stories the league has seen in years. Below is a look at 10 of the most notable numbers that have defined Wall’s career so far.
573 career games played
Wall’s career is defined by unforgettable performances, highlight-reel passes and big time plays in big time moments, but his standing in franchise history is as much a result of longevity and volume. In an NBA ripe with superstar trades and landscape-shifting free agent signings every summer, a career like Wall’s – 10 years with the team he drafted him, multiple contract extensions and consistent loyalty between team and player – is hard to come by. 10 years in, Wall has played in 573 total games, which ranks seventh in franchise history. He sits within a season’s worth of games of passing Brandan Haywood (579), Kevin Loughery (591), Charles Jones (595) and Greg Ballard (643). After surpassing that group, Wall will trail only Elvin Hayes (731) and Wes Unseld (984), widely regarded as the greatest players in franchise history.
On January 12, 2018, Wall became the youngest player in franchise history and the fourth ever to surpass 10,000 career points. Wall, whose 10,879 points currently rank fourth in franchise history, is just 204 points behind Jeff Malone (11,083) for third, 507 points behind Bradley Beal (11,386) for second and 4,672 behind Elvin Hayes (15,551) for first.
Five consecutive All-Star appearances
From 2014-2018, Wall was selected to five consecutive All-Star games, including a start in 2015. Wall is one of four players in franchise history to make at least five All-Star games, tied with Wes Unseld and Gus Johnson and trailing only Elvin Hayes, who got the nod eight times. Wall and Hayes are the only players in franchise history to have been selected five seasons in a row. Wall shined in the 2016 All-Star game, scoring 22 points on 10-14 (.714) from the field and 2-2 (1.000) from deep.
No player in franchise history comes close to matching Wall’s prolific assist totals. In nine seasons, he’s racked up 5,282 assists, 1,460 more than Unseld, who ranks second on the team’s all-time list. Rod Strickland, who ranks third in franchise history, is another 1,110 dimes behind Unseld. In his 573 career games, Wall is averaging 9.2 assists per game, more than any player in franchise history (min. 100 games). Only Wall and Strickland (8.9) have averaged more than 7.0 assists per game over the course of their Bullets/Wizards career.
264 games with at least 10 assists
Wall’s place in passing history is not limited to the Wizards record book – he’s been among the best of his peers since joining the league in 2010-11. Since then, Wall has the third-most games with 10-plus assists in the league (264), trailing only Chris Paul (297) and Russell Westbrook (275), though Wall has done so playing substantially fewer games. Westbrook has played 710 games and Paul, 668 games, while Wall has totaled his 264 10-assist games in just 573 outings.
In addition to topping the franchise charts in assists, Wall is also in a class of his own when it comes to steals. Long regarded as one of the quickest, most anticipatory players in the league, Wall has tallied impressive steals from his first season in the league. He’s ranked in the top 15 in the league in steals six times, including 2016-17, when he led the league with 157. Over the course of his career, Wall has registered 976 steals, the most in team history and 214 more than second-place Greg Ballard.
Two 40-point, 10-assist, multi-steal games
Wall has been celebrated his entire career for what he brings on both ends of the court. Since 2010-11, Wall is one of just eight players in the league to have recorded multiple game with at least 40 points, 10 assists and two steals. The most statistically impressive game Wall has played in his career came on December 16, 2018 against the Lakers in which Wall totaled 40 points, 14 assists, six assists, three steals and two blocks, becoming just the second player in the NBA to hit those numbers in the time since he was drafted. The other player to hit those marks? Bradley Beal in 2019.
Six consecutive seasons averaging at least 8.5 assists
In his last six seasons, Wall has registered assist per game rates of 8.8, 10.0, 10.2, 10.7, 9.6 and 8.7, respectively, becoming just the ninth player in NBA history to average 8.5 assists or more for six consecutive seasons and one of just five players to do so since 2000.
Since the 2010-11 season, Wall has recorded seven triple-doubles, the first of which came on November 10 of his rookie season when he totaled 19 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and six steals. At the time, Wall was one of just seven players in league history to ever hit the numbers in a game and the only one to do it as a rookie. Since joining the league, only seven players have registered more triple-doubles than Wall.
20 assists in one game
On March 17, 2017 against the Bulls, Wall struggled from the field, shooting just 4-13 (.308) on his way to just 14 points, but found another way to lead the Wizards to a win. That night, Wall registered 20 assists, becoming just the third player in franchise history – and the first since 1998 – to do so. In his career, Wall has recorded 15-plus assists 29 times, but the 20-assist threshold was one he’s reached just once. Since 2010-11, only seven other players have registered at least 20 assists in a game.