Quick Links

John Wall to be inducted into University of Kentucky's Hall of Fame, first John Calipari player to get honor

John Wall to be inducted into University of Kentucky's Hall of Fame, first John Calipari player to get honor

John Wall played just one year at the University of Kentucky before jumping to the NBA, but he left quite the impression.

The school announced on Monday that Wall will be inducted into the school's athletics Hall of Fame. Wall is one of six inductees including Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb and Padres outfielder Collin Cowgill.

[RELATED: Wall and Brooks were selling points for Meeks to sign with Wizards]

Wall, 26, played the 2009-10 season with Kentucky and helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. Months later, he was drafted by the Wizards with the No. 1 overall pick.

Wall teamed with fellow NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins under head coach John Calipari. Wall will be the first Calipari player to enter Kentucky's Hall of Fame.

Calipari reacted to the news via Kentucky's Twitter account:

"He set the tone of where college basketball was going -- not just Kentucky."

Wall was part of Calipari's first wave of one-and-dones, a practice that has changed college hoops. Since, Calipari's Kentucky teams have made four Final 4s, two championship games and won one title in 2012.

Wall was a great college basketball player and this further cements his legacy.

Speaking of that legacy, watch our feature on Wall returning to Lexington a few years ago:

[RELATED: What we learned from Wizards' Summer League]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE WIZARDS STORIES

Quick Links

John Wall and Wizards' partnership is a display of commitment rarely seen

John Wall and Wizards' partnership is a display of commitment rarely seen

No player has defined the Washington Wizards organization since they rebranded 20 years ago quite like John Wall, a superstar point guard who has developed from a first overall pick into a perennial All-Star and pillar of playoff success. Wall has etched a unique legacy within the franchise's history in just seven NBA seasons. Now he has ensured them of at least six more.

It's the yearly terms that stand out most in Wall's new contract with the Wizards, a four-year extension worth $170 million. Four years does not sound long, but that will take Wall through at least the majority, if not all, of his prime. He will enter his Age 27 season this fall, but with two years left on his current deal Wall's new contract will keep him in Washington through 2023. He will be 32 by the time it expires.

If Wall complets those 13 seasons with the Wizards, barring a trade or something unforeseen, he will have played as long for one team as Wes Unseld (Bullets), Larry Bird (Celtics), Kevin McHale (Celtics), Magic Johnson (Lakers) and Isaiah Thomas (Pistons). Dwyane Wade spent 13 seasons with the Heat before leaving. Michael Jordan played 13 in Chicago. 

Among active players, only Dirk Nowitzki (Mavs, 19 years), Tony Parker (Spurs, 16), Manu Ginobli (Spurs, 15) and Udonis Haslem (Heat, 14) have been with one team longer than 13 years.

[RELATED: NBA reacts to John Wall's new contract]

Only Unseld has spent more than nine seasons with the Wizards/Bullets franchise. Wall is two years away from matching the six players tied for second with nine seasons including Phil Chenier, Gus Johnson and Elvin Hayes. Those guys were all Bullets. Wall is a Wizard through and through.

Evaluating this partnership from Wall's perspective is interesting. Naturally, the Wizards would be willing to retain him for the longhaul. He is one of the best players in the NBA and has the off-court comportment any team would covet as the face of their franchise. But for Wall to make this commitment is a rare display of loyalty in an age where NBA superstars jump teams like never before.

Loyalty may not be the perfect word, as ultimately Wall will make much more money in Washington than he could elsewhere. But his devotion to the city of Washington and finishing what he started with a franchise that has experienced many lean years for decades is nearly unparalleled in this day and age. 

Think about it. How many players in today's NBA more define the franchise they play for, not just in contemporary terms but in the team's history? Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City, Paul George left Indiana, Gordon Hayward left Utah and Chris Paul left the Clippers, all within the last 13 months. Meanwhile, Wall has never wavered publicly about his commitment to the Wizards.

[RELATED: Is Washington a basketball destination now?]

Wall's firm allegiance to the Wizards has helped the team hold up a point majority owner Ted Leonsis made during Wednesday's press conference to announce Otto Porter's own max contract, that he prefers "no drama" in contract negotiations. He boasted how there was no drama in Wall's first max deal signed back in 2013, nor was there any with Bradley Beal last summer or Porter this year. Now, with Wall's second contract, the Wizards have been able to get these deals done without any sort of realistic doubt for fans about their favorite players leaving. That is no small feat.

That is of course in great contrast with many NBA superstars between Dwight Howard's days in Orlando, Paul's time in New Orleans, Carmelo Anthony's tenure in both Denver and New York, LeBron James in both of his stints in Cleveland, etc. Some of those players left, some didn't. But all had drama that lasted for years and weighed heavily on everyone involved.

Wizards fans, on the other hand, had no serious fear of seeing Wall go. That is an unusual sense of security in most places but even more so in the city of Washington. Between Kirk Cousins and Bryce Harper, the thought of losing a franchise cornerstone is a very real thing for D.C. fans. Cousins and Harper have done nothing wrong and they shouldn't be faulted for playing their hand in what is ultimately a cutthroat business, but it's hard not to notice how Wall has gone out of his way to make D.C. his home, embracing the city in every sense.

Keeping great players and the longevity of stardom is something even more foreign to those who have rooted for the Bullets and Wizards over the last few decades. It's not that they haven't acquired superstars, they just haven't been able to keep them.

Chris Webber could end up in the Hall of Fame someday, but Washington traded him at the beginning of his prime. Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton and Ben Wallace all became stars after leaving D.C. and helped win a championship for the Detroit Pistons. Gilbert Arenas was a sensation, but his tenure was brief and ultimately catastrophic. 

Wall's career in Washington has already gone much differently than those. And because of his new contract, fans can dream about the future knowing he will be a part of it.

[RELATED: Wizards are building something special in Eastern Conference]

Quick Links

John Wall agrees to four-year extension with Wizards

John Wall agrees to four-year extension with Wizards

The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.

Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.

Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.

The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.

[RELATED: John Wall to get huge honor from University of Kentucky]

By signing Wall to four more years, the Wizards have locked up their three core players, including Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, through the 2019-20 season. Like Beal and Wall, Porter is under contract through the following season, but he could choose to leave in free agency through a player option. Porter signed his new contract on July 13, a four-year max deal worth $106.5 million.

Wall had the best season of his career in 2016-17, averaging 23.1 poitns, 10.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He was a driving force behind the Wizards' best season as a franchise since the 1970s. Not since 1979 had they won 49 games, their division or reached the seventh game of the second round of the playoffs.

Now with Wall, Beal and Porter locked up for the foreseeable future, the Wizards can continue to build on an era that has already seen three appearances in the postseason's second round. It all began with Wall getting drafted in 2010 and now it is ensured he will get to finish what he and the Wizards have started.

[RELATED: Who is the best player in Wizards/Bullets history?]