Los Angeles Clippers’ latest addition, John Wall, opened up on his turbulent last season and the 2019-20 edition that saw him sit out of the bubble due to injuries. After a significant absence from the game, he will now suit up alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George after inking a two-year contract.
The five-time All-Star played 40 games for Houston in 2020-21, averaging 20.6 points and 6.8 rebounds after sitting out the previous season to a torn Achilles and a heel surgery. While he looked impressive on return from injury, the Rockets were focused on developing young talent Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, meaning Wall had to warm the bench.
What was more insightful was Wall’s thoughts during the time he was a notable absentee. In an exclusive interview with The Player’s Tribune, he opened up on battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and the struggle of coping with his mother’s death.
“I was this close to taking my own life…For me, it all happened really fast. In the span of three years, I went from being on top of the world to losing damn near everything I ever cared about. In 2017, I’m jumping up on the announcer’s table in D.C. after forcing Game 7 against Boston, and I’m the king of the city. I’m getting a max extension, thinking I’m a Wizard for life. A year later, I tore my Achilles and lost the only sanctuary I’ve ever known — the game of basketball. I ended up with such a bad infection from the surgeries that I nearly had to have my foot amputated. A year later, I lost my best friend in the whole world, my mom, to breast cancer…
The 32-year-old point guard also added how the injuries and the death of his mother, Frances Pulley left an impact on him. He explained the loneliness that came with the battles.
That was when I started going to a really dark place. The thoughts would be playing in my head like… “My best friend is gone. I can’t play the game I love. Everybody just got their hand out. Nobody is checking on me for me. It’s always coming with something attached. Who’s there to hold me down now? What’s the point of being here?”
Wall eventually sought professional help when things became tough. With this, he follows the likes of Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers stars DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love, who has been vocal about their mental health struggles in the past.
News from the Clippers camp was that Wall was indeed excited to be back on the court, and only time will tell how the side fares in the new season. They play their first game against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 20.