NBA guard John Wall signed a 2-year, $13.2 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers this summer, after an uneventful yet shaky two years with the Houston Rockets. But the 5x NBA All-Star recently spoke with Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, and Wall was vulnerable about the struggles he faced away from the hardwood around that time.
“Darkest place I’ve ever been in,” Wall said. “At one point in time, I thought about committing suicide. Tearing my Achilles, my mom being sick, my mom passing, and my grandma passing a year later. All this in the midst of COVID at the same time. Me going to the chemotherapy and sitting there. Me seeing my mom take her last breath. Wearing the same clothes for three days straight and laying on the couch sobbing.”
Wall’s statements echo what he told ClutchPoints writer Tomer Azarly two months ago. His mother, Frances Pulley, passed away from breast cancer in December 2019. She was 58 years old. Then in February 2021, Wall took time away from the Houston Rockets to attend his grandmother’s funeral.
The 31-year-old spent a decade alongside Bradley Beal as the 1-2 backcourt punch for the Washington Wizards. But Wall’s time in the nation’s capital was marred with inconsistent appearances due to injury. And this dates as far back as 2012, according to NBC Sports.
But in 2018, the league pushed forth an initiative to address its players’ mental health. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts issued a letter encouraging athletes to use their mental wellness programs and revealed how they’ve improved them.
Back in 2018, when the NBA announced the improvements, Wall explained that fans might think ball players’ lives are perfect because they have these million-dollar contracts and have a passion for basketball, but that doesn’t mean everything.
“I think it was great because I try to tell people all of the time that just because we make all of this money or get to play the game we love at the highest level doesn’t mean we live a perfect life,” Wall said. “We are normal people; we just have an opportunity to play the game we love, to make money, and live a lifestyle that a lot of people want to, but that doesn’t make everything great. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand, we wake up and go through the same problems everybody else goes through.”