When John Wall tore his Achilles after a slip and fall in his home, the critics were quick to count him out. Wall, 28, will be entering his 10th NBA season with the Wizards, and it has come with plenty of doubt.
Before the injury, Wall’s locker-room behavior was being scrutinized after reports indicated he was stirring up trouble for head coach Scott Brooks and the rest of the team. His on-court game had flaws as well, including shooting struggles, defensive lapses, and leadership questions.
His injury was the nail in the coffin for many, because much of Wall’s game predicated from his speed, vertical, and overall athleticism.
As he prepares for his return, however, he is intent on proving the skeptics wrong.
(via The Athletic’s Michael Lee)
“It fuels me. [The 20]16-17 [season] was my best year. [Averaged] 23 [points] and 11 [assists]. John Wall is a top-two point guard. I get injured. John Wall is not a top-five point guard? Now, because I’m injured, I can’t defend myself. Now I’ve got the worst contract ever? That’s fine. I deserved that contract. My whole mindset is—it’s in my notes—I didn’t deserve it? When I come back, I’m going to show them I earned it. I never want a handout. I always worked for mine. A lot of guys got a lot of stuff that’s given. Never made McDonald’s All-American. Took national player of the year away from me when I was in college. OK, I’m the No. 1 pick. I’m going to prove myself. You get the hype. I look back at it. My ’09 class in high school, I can only name probably nine guys in the league. Out of my draft class, it’s maybe eight guys in the league. It is what it is.”
Wall recently signed a 4-year, $170M extension that will keep him in town through 2023. Whether or not he will ever return to his former form will remain a mystery for now, but the 5x All-Star is set to prove that he is worth the money.