At the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard will not be the only one to return to the field after a white season. By his side there will be John Wall that we haven’t seen on a field for almost 18 months. The former Wizards point guard has hit rock bottom, between his serious injuries and a sideline in Houston. As he explains in a column posted on Players’ Tribune, he went in the space of three years from « top of the world » to « losing everything ».
» In 2017, I jump on the scoreboard in Washington after snatching a seventh game against Boston, and I’m king of town. I get an extension at the maximum salary, imagining that I will be a Wizard for life. A year later, I tore my Achilles tendon and lost the only sanctuary I’ve ever known, the basketball court. The operations caused such an infection that I almost had my foot amputated. A year later, I lost my best friend in the world, my mother, to breast cancer. »
A month ago, this same Wall confided that he had even considered… suicide.
“I found myself in the darkest state I had ever been in. At one point, I thought about killing myself.he said. “I tore my Achilles tendon, my mother was sick, then she died and my grandmother died a year later. All this in the midst of Covid at the same time. I was going to chemotherapy, and I was sitting next to him. I saw my mother breathe her last. I wore the same clothes for three days straight, lying on the couch sobbing.
« The one thing I’ve always clung to, in the darkest times, is the thought of my boys »
What allows him to hang on are first of all his children.
» The one thing I’ve always clung to, in the darkest times, is the thought of my boys – just the little things, like wanting to be there for their first day of school, or their first vacation. I also wanted them to see their dad play in an NBA game for real, and not just in footage from the era. These thoughts held me back for many difficult nights. But to be honest, even the thought of being a father wasn’t enough for me to get help. This is how depression lies to you. That devil on your shoulder whispers to you, « Maybe they’d be better off without you here. » »
Today, Wall is better, and even much better. But he is always followed, and he remains cautious.
» Today, I’m still talking with my therapist and I’m still emptying myself of all that shit I’ve been through. I’m never going to stop doing it, because I really don’t know when the dark thoughts might come back… For now, I feel better than I have in years. »