John Wall says he contemplated suicide amid injury struggles, mother's death

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·3 min read

Content warning: the following article includes mention of suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988.

John Wall signed with the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this offseason after years of struggles, and he seems ready to talk about just how low he reached.

During a Salvation Army event in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. earlier this month, the five-time All-Star revealed that he contemplated committing suicide during a stretch of time in which he tore his Achilles and his mother and grandmother died.

Video of the interview started circulating on Monday:

After being asked about the Clippers' outlook this season, Wall alluded to being in "a dark place the last couple of years." When asked to expand on that, he said:

"Darkest place I've ever been in. At one point in time, I thought about committing suicide. Tearing my Achilles, my mom being sick, my mom passing, my grandma passed a year later, all this in the midst of COVID at the same time. Me going to chemotherapy, me sitting by my mom taking her last breaths, wearing the same clothes for 3 days straight laying on the couch beside her.

"Looking at all that, I'm like 'If I can get through this, I can get through anything in life.' I don't like to brag about it, because everybody goes through stuff. We all went through tough times, nobody's got it easy. But I don't think a lot of people could get through what I went through."

John Wall has had an awful few years

Few players in the NBA have had a more turbulent three years than Wall, who has played only 40 games since the 2018-19 season and hasn't played more than 50 games in a season since 2016-17. Here's how his career has gone since signing a supermax extension with the Washington Wizards in 2017:

  • missed two months in the 2017-18 season due to a knee surgery

  • missed nearly three months in the 2018-19 season due to a heel injury

  • developed infection in his heel from a surgery

  • missed the entire 2019-20 season after tore his Achilles on a slip at home

  • traded to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook

  • missed the final month of the 2020-21 season with a hamstring strain

  • held out of 2021-22 season so Rockets could use their younger players

And that's just the basketball stuff. His mother Frances Pulley also died of breast cancer in 2019 and his grandmother died in 2021.

When you look at all that, it's hard not to root for him to revive his career with the Clippers. Wall might be 31 now, but he's on a team that will surround him with talents like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Norman Powell and several effective 3-point shooters. The set-up should make things easy for any point guard.

Wall will certainly have people rooting for him, including LeBron James and former teammate Bradley Beal:

Houston Rockets' John Wall plays during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
John Wall is trying to resurrect his career with the Clippers. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)