John Wall has spoken about experiencing suicidal thoughts following the death of his mother and grandmother, in addition to struggling to rebound from injuries that have kept him away from basketball for over a year.
In an interview with BOXTOROW, host Donal Ware asked Wall about the last two to two-and-a-half years, and the Los Angeles Clippers point guard went into great detail about what has been going on with him, personally and professionally.
“Darkest place I’ve ever been in,” the 31-year-old said at the 5:25 mark above. “At one point in time I thought about committing suicide. Tearing my Achilles, my mom being sick, my mom passing, my grandma passing a year later. All this in the midst of COVID at the same time. Me going to the chemotherapy and sitting in there. Me seeing my mom take her last breath, wearing the same clothes for three days straight, laying on the couch beside her.”
On Feb. 5, 2019, Wall’s former team, the Washington Wizards, announced he would undergo surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles. He suffered the injury after a slip and fall at his home. It would take a year for him to fully recover. A few days later, he publicly spoke about his mother Frances Pulley battling breast cancer. “God don’t make no mistakes,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington at the time. “I can’t wonder why He did this, probably it’s a good time to spend with my mom while she’s battling this cancer and be there for her, and also be there for my son.”
Pulley passed away at the age of 58 on Dec. 13, 2019.
“Looking at all that, I’m like, if I can get through this, I can get through anything in life,” Wall said in his conversation with BOXTOROW. “And I don’t like to brag about it…everybody goes through something, we all went through tough times, nobody got it easy. But I don’t think a lot of people could get through what I went through.”
He also shared that he had success working with a therapist. “A lot of people think, ‘I don’t need help, I can get through it at any time.’ But you’ve gotta be true to yourself and find out what’s best for you, and I did that.”
Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets in a deal involving Russell Westbrook on Dec. 2, 2020. He made his Rockets debut on Dec. 31, scoring 22 points, dishing out nine assists, and grabbing six rebounds in the team’s 122-119 win over the Sacramento Kings. Less than two months later, Wall missed a game to attend the funeral of his grandmother.
Wall missed the entire 2021-22 season because the Rockets allegedly refused to trade or buy him out of his deal. After exercising the $47.4 million player option in the final year of his contract for next season, Wall and the Rockets came to terms on a buyout in which he reportedly forfeited $6.5 million.
Wall signed a two-year, $13.2 million deal with the Clippers a few weeks later.