Five-time All-Star John Wall has opened up his personal battle with mental health in a published essay for the The players’ standwhen he “came as close as possible to suicide” after a serious injury that nearly required amputation of his foot and the deaths of his mother and grandmother.
Wall has suffered a series of injuries and has played just 113 games in the past five seasons, first with the Washington Wizards, then the Houston Rockets – for whom he served all last season – and now the LA Clippers over the summer.
His mother died of breast cancer in late 2019 and his grandmother died during the pandemic. While the country was dealing with COVID-19, Wall was also battling within himself every day.
“One night, after all my homies had left and I sat there alone with my mind racing, I came as close as you can get to making an unfortunate decision and leaving this earth,” Wall wrote in his essay . .
“At one point I thought about killing myself,” the 32-year-old added in his personal essay as he heads into his 12th NBA season.
John Wall, 32, revealed his long battle with his ‘darkest thoughts’ in an essay for The Players’ Tribune, published Thursday
Wall first spoke about how close he was to committing suicide in August at a Salvation Army fundraiser in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion explained how he’s been going downhill fast since signing a four-year contract extension worth more than $170 million with the Wizards in 2017, and how it’s helped make him a better person. to become.
“I tore my Achilles tendon and lost the only refuge I’ve ever known — the game of basketball,” Wall said. ‘I got such a serious infection from the surgeries that I almost had to have my foot amputated.
“A year later I lost my best friend in the whole world, my mother, to breast cancer.”
Wall first opened up his fight in August at a Salvation Army event in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he was raised by his mother.
“The darkest place I’ve ever been,” the veteran guard told Box to Row Radio’s Donal Ware nearly a month ago. “At one point I thought about committing suicide.”
“Money and fame mean nothing if you don’t have peace in your life,” Wall wrote. Pictured in February with Agent Rich Paul and LeBron James (right) in 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Wall was a hot item and a huge star for the Wizards before knee and leg injuries started to take their toll. He was a 2013-18 All-Star and averaged 23.1 points in his career during the 2016-17 season.
Wall was traded to the Rockets during the 2020-21 season as part of the mega trade for Russell Westbrook. He played in 40 games for Houston that season and then sat out last season as the Reconstruction club sought a trading partner and developed its young core under the leadership of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.
The past four or five years have been a source of turmoil in Wall’s personal life, and the loss of two close family members has clearly taken its toll at one point.
Wall also had to be the ‘man of the house’ at the tender age of nine after his father died of liver cancer.
“Money and fame mean nothing if you don’t have peace in your life,” he wrote.
After earning maximum extension in 2017, Wall lost his mother and grandmother two years later before being traded to the Houston Rockets in 2020 for Russell Westbrook (right)
Wall then said he was seeing a therapist to help him work through his pain.
“I’m still talking to my therapist and I’m still unpacking a lot of the crazy stuff I’ve been through. I will never stop because I really don’t know when the darkness can come back.
‘Right now? I feel better than I’ve felt in years. It feels like I’m breathing fresh air again. I feel a sense of peace. I get to wake up in the morning and do what I love most: play basketball for a living, be a good father to my sons, and carry on the legacy and light of Frances Ann Pulley.”
By June, the Rockets and Wall had reached a contract acquisition agreement before the latter joined the Clippers in early July.
His return to the NBA is scheduled for October 20, when he and his new team face the Lakers in the Battle for LA.
Since Wall (left) was recommended to talk to a therapist, he’s been in touch with Paul George (right) and Kawhi Leonard at the Los Angeles Clippers
Having Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as teammates is something that brightens Wall’s spirits.
“And I know you heard me say it not too long ago, when I was playing pickup with… [Paul George] and she… “I’m back.”
‘And it’s true. I’m back. But it is also something much, much, deeper. It’s bigger than basketball I’m talking about. It’s LIFE, right?! I’ve been through one of the darkest times imaginable… and yo… I’m still here.”
Wall has career averages of 19.1 points, 9.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 613 NBA games. He was the Wizards’ number 1 overall pick in the 2010 Kentucky draft.
If you or someone you know is in an immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 988 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine of the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.