A warning from the Washington Wizards: John Wall is dunking again

Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /

NBA, consider this your first warning. John Wall is coming back with a vengeance.

Back in February of 2019, John Wall ruptured his Achilles tendon, ending his 2018-19 season with the Washington Wizards. Nine months later, before the Wizards took on the Boston Celtics, John Wall was dunking.

Although he did not participate in the Wizards’ 140-133 loss to the Celtics, that didn’t stop Wall from getting some shots up before tip-off, including at least one aerial assault on the rim.

NBCSports Washington caught the whole, beautiful display.


On a night that started out all about Isaiah Thomas and his return to Boston, Wall’s dunk might be the most noteworthy Wizards basket of the evening.

Just a few weeks ago, the Wizards were denied the Disabled Player Exception for John Wall. The news was met with some mild confusion. The assumption all summer had been that we probably wouldn’t see Wall at all this season. The DPE denial suggests otherwise.

Then there were a series of videos that hit Twitter, and it all made sense. There was this video from NBCSports Washington’s Chase Hughes of Wall looking like his old self. Then Wall showed off his sprinting ability for Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. That was followed by a front-row seat to a lights-out shooting display.

The pregame dunk in Boston isn’t the first positive sign we’ve seen during Wall’s rehab, but it is the latest and most encouraging. Defender-less jumpers are good; Wall’s getting back in the swing of things. Sprints are great; His speed is still there. But a dunk is proof that at least some of that John Wall explosiveness is still there.

When Wall returns to action, whether he’s still able to blow by defenders with ease will be the biggest question. Wall’s speed, especially in transition, has been one of his deadliest assets. His offensive game has always relied on his unrivaled explosiveness. If that option is no longer available to him when he returns, he’ll need to change his style of play drastically.

Next. Nick Wright is wrong about John Wall. dark

Wall still has a long way to go. Pregame and practice highlights are a far cry from the real thing. But by all accounts, it looks like Wall is getting there. Judging by these recent videos, I bet we see him on the floor at some point this season.

NBA, you’ve been warned.