John Wall hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 2018. Before his Achilles injury, Wall was one of the best two-way point guards in the league and has made five straight All-Star games. After Wall went down with the injury, Bradley Beal has emerged as the leader of the Washington Wizards. Although Beal put up great numbers and was snubbed from an All-Star selection, he wasn’t able to give the Wizards any boost in terms of team success. That is why Wizards’ fans are eager to see Wall get back on the floor.
During his rehab from the Achilles surgery, Wall faced a lot of complications. Speaking to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All the Smoke podcast, Wall opened up about all the difficulties he and the doctor had to face with the infections that followed the surgery, making him think about all the little things and not just basketball.
“So now I’m thinking, like, ‘y’all might have to cut my whole leg off if y’all can’t clear the infection out of there,’ because it’s deep down in my foot. So now my mindset is, man, forget the Achilles’ and getting that fixed, please clear this infection so I can walk and be healthy and have my foot still. Man, forget even playing basketball, just let me have my leg so I can walk and be normal and play with my kid, whatever. Then I finally got past that stage where now I’m like, I can’t wait to prove everybody wrong and show everybody what I got because everybody thinks I’m done.”John Wall, via All The Smoke
It seems like Wall has a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove the doubters wrong. Before the injury, Wall was playing great individual basketball but was never able to lead his team past the 2nd round. They came close in 2017 but lost game 7 to the Boston Celtics. People around the league were considering the pairing of Wall and Beal to be one of the most exciting backcourt duos in the league, but there were constant rumors about the two not getting along. Wall discussed their relationship, saying that they make each other better.
“We both want to be stars. We both want to take the game-winning shots … But at the end of the day, they always say, ‘Well, they don’t like each other. They downgrading each other.’ Ain’t no John Wall without Bradley Beal. Ain’t no Bradley Beal without John Wall. We make each other better. We accommodate each other so well on the court, and it works easy for us.”John Wall, via All The Smoke
Their dependence on each other lies in the fact that Wall never led the Wizards to the playoffs before Beal’s arrival, and Beal hasn’t been able to get Washington there since Wall’s injury. It seems that John’s injuries had something to do with that, considering that he discovered that he played with two bone spurs in his knee and his heel in the years of him being an All-Star. Wall believes that the best of him is yet to come. Other than healing from the Achilles tendon, he is using his time to fully recover his body from all the little problems he was facing while still playing. Wall will finally be completely healthy, and he’s aching to get back on the floor, especially after his team continually getting blown out and young guys regaling on it.
“When I’m not playing, I’m watching these guys play. Like these young guys, they are killing our team, and they look at our bench and stuff. Just know I got those written down in my notes for when I come back when they start next season. I can’t wait to see them what I got, what I’m about. But I’m going to be better than what I was before, and that’s the scary part. They ain’t even get the best of John Wall yet; they just got a clip of him.”John Wall, via All The Smoke
It’s been a year and a half since we’ve last seen Wall dribble the basketball in the NBA arena. Coming back from an Achilles injury is not easy, especially for the type of player who is relying so much on his athleticism like John is. However, he seems determined to prove that he can still play at the high level and lead his team to deep playoff runs. Hopefully, he comes back and proves everyone wrong, and we finally see the unlock of the potential the duo of him and Bradley Beal have, especially after the season Beal is having.