Sometimes it’s bigger than basketball. John Wall and Bradley Beal know that, and the Washington Wizards are lucky they do.
John Wall has not played a basketball game for the Washington Wizards since December 2018. But even while absent from the court, John Wall has still made an immense impact in the Washington D.C. area. And he’s not done yet.
On May 23, John Wall announced the launch of the ‘202 Assist‘ program, a program designed to help renter in the district’s Ward 8 during these tough times. While basketball is on hold and countries around the nation and globe struggle to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wall is using his platform to do something – anything – to help out.
And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this from Wall. Far from it.
What Wall and Beal do off the court makes them more valuable on it.
Throughout Wall’s career he has given back to the communities close to him. He’s made massive donations to local charities, helped feed hospital workers, provided meals during holidays, properly equipped students for school, and much more.
Luckily for Washington, Wall isn’t the only charitable star on the roster. Bradley Beal is just as generous. Whether it be in D.C. or his hometown of St.Louis, Beal is dedicated to providing resources and relief, and being an exemplary role model for young men.
In June 2019, Bradley Beal won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award, making he and Wall the first teammates to have won the year-long award since it was first given out in 2012. Wall won it in 2016.
As the state of the NBA hangs in limbo, the Wizards are getting ready to give both members of their backcourt some HUGE paychecks. Wall and Beal are set to make a combined $70 million next season and then $78.8 million the season after that.
With so much money tied up in these two, and no playoff series wins since 2017, there have been trade rumors nonstop. At the very least, rumblings. But even though Wall and Beal haven’t been delivering wins on the court these past few seasons, they’ve never stopped helping other people get their own wins off of it.
There’s no denying that these two have immense basketball talent, but whether the Wizards were smart (from a teambuilding standpoint) to sink all this money into their two stars is debatable. Especially if you only look at the wins and losses.
However, sometimes, things are bigger than basketball. Wall and Beal both know that, and the D.C. community is better for it.
Next season, when Wall returns to the floor, the Wizards could make some noise in the East. A healthy Wall, a re-signed Davis Bertans, a more mature Rui Hachimura, and a few defensive-minded tweaks in the offseason could add up to a playoff birth.
But even if the Wall/Beal-led Wizards bring home a Larry O’Brien trophy or even reach the heights they did in the 2017 playoffs, Washington is lucky to have them both. They carry big pricetags now, but if they leave, the city loses a lot more than a couple of good basketball players.
To that end, they’re worth every penny.
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