John Wall and Gilbert Arenas were on the same active NBA roster just 12 times in this lifetime, starting together in only three of those games. They would have been spent 10 or so more games together had Gilly not been shelved the first three games of that 2010-11 season as part of the rollover #GunGate suspension from 2009, and had Wall not missed a bunch games because of nagging ailments in his lower body.
This picture paints a sick depiction of arguably the most momentous turning point in Washington’s basketball franchise history. The once face of the city in Gilbert Arenas, swiftly turning into a “gone too soon” Etch-a-Sketch image of a popular athlete who would become just another memory in the history of failed DC Sports. And then there’s John Wall, an embryonic pre-adult still yet to be fully versed in the ways of professional basketball in all its intense magnitude, pegged as the savior of a luckless franchise that was on the cusp of its biggest roster overhaul ever.
Throughout their short tenure together in DC, Wall and Arenas exchanged a total of 22 assists between each other: 15 assists from Wall to Gilly, and seven from Gilly to Wall.
Wall and Arenas spent an average of 21.3 minutes per game together in those 12 games and accumulated a total of 121 assists during that time. Their plus-minus was a less favorable -68.
In a November game against the Hawks in Atlanta, Wall had a career high four assists to Gilbert.
In two games against Houston and Charlotte, Wall tallied a total of 24 assists but only one of them to Gilbert, who went 3-for-25 (2-for-11 from 3) in those two games for only 10 points.
The transition from one ousted superstar in Gilbert Arenas to an auspicious one in John Wall is certainly a fascinating piece of DC Sports history. It was the testament to Ted Leonsis’ commitment to gut out the vital organs of a once promising contender and remold it into a new one, this time using a fresh can of Play-Dough. Just like when Will reluctantly passed over his pristine Chicktionary to an unseasoned Carlton Banks, Arenas was driven to sacrifice almost as much by prematurely passing over the less glorious torch of DC pro basketball supremacy to an inexperienced rookie.
I think it’s working out okay.