We've all heard the numbers in John Wall's new contract. Four years, $170 million. But we wanted to get to know better John Wall as a person. We got that opportunity on Friday as Frank Hanrahan chatted with the Wizards' superstar.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from listening to John Wall's press conference on Friday, is his loyalty to the Wizards, and the team's city and fan base.
It's easy to say all the right things when you're going to get paid as much as professional athletes do. But the reality in the NBA is it is rare for a player to spend nearly 10 years with one team, let alone one's entire career. But John Wall wants to be a Wizard for as long as he's playing in the NBA. In fact, Wall was committed to signing his new deal this summer even as many thought he might not.
"This is the only team I want to be with," said Wall. "Everybody was panicking and wondering why I didn't sign my extension. Y'all didn't have to worry. This is the city I love. I love playing here."
The rarity of having a player commit to playing for just one team over a long period of time isn't lost on the Wizards' brass.
It's very hard to sign your best players long-term like that," said Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld. "If you look around the league, very few players finish on the same team. In maybe in the last 20 years, you have Kobe and Dirk Nowitzki. And that's about it."
During Frank's interview with Wall, we got to see a lighter side of the Wizards' point guard, but we also saw what drives him to be the best he can be.
Frank asked John Wall what his top 5 songs to listen to before a workout or a game. Instead of rattling off a list of songs, he said he actually listens to his nephew's album and he explained why.
"When I get in my zone, I just listen to my nephew WallWay Pack," said Wall. "I just throw in his he dropped a couple months ago, and I just listen to it. I like listening to music that just brings you about the struggle. It reminds me of back where I came from, and I lock in understanding I still haven't accomplished nothin'. So I can have that kind of focus going into a workout."
John Wall becomes the third NBA player to sign the supermax extension that was created to help teams keep their star players, joining Steph Curry and James Harden.