John Wall on joining the Los Angeles Clippers

LAS VEGAS – Get ready to play side by side Kohi Leonard And the Paul George next season, John Wall He said he was happy to join the loaded Los Angeles Clippers who wouldn’t need him to be “Batman every night in order to win”.

In his first comments since he officially signed a two-year, $13.2 million deal with Los Angeles, Wall believes he can help fill a missing item for the Clippers at Point Guard.

The Clippers are expected to contend for the championship with Leonard returning after missing the entirety of last season due to a ruptured right anterior cruciate ligament. Wall said he is happy to join the list of the most talented people who have ever participated in his career.

“I don’t have to do this every night, I don’t have to be Batman every night to win,” Wall said Saturday in the Las Vegas Summer League. “This is the ultimate goal for me [at] In this part of my career, I don’t want to be Batman every night trying to win. In our team that we have, I think anyone can be Batman.”

Wall, who will turn 32 in September, hasn’t played in the NBA since April 23, 2021. He sat last season with the Houston Rockets, who have been rebuilding with younger players.

Wall has played only 40 games — all during the 2020-21 season with Houston — in the past three seasons. He missed the entire 2019-20 season due to an Achilles tendon injury. He also played only in a combined total of 73 matches during the 2017-18 and 2018-2019 seasons due to injuries.

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“When I’m between those four streaks, I don’t get injured, I don’t think about it,” Wall said of previous injuries involving the knee, Achilles tendon, and heel. “I go out there and compete. I work hard every day to try and get back in that position to get back into the league.

“The past three years, I’ve been in the darkest place I’ve ever been. I don’t think a lot of people could have gotten past what I’ve been through — losing my mom, losing my grandmother, ripping my Achilles tendon, going through all those ordeals and trying to find myself and then get some of the This love more than anything was taken from me.”

The five-time All-Star, who averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in the 2020-2021 season for the Rockets, said he was looking forward to joining a team he wouldn’t have to put up with and could thrive alongside talent.

“I didn’t really care about all the other teams,” Wall said of those who were interested in him before he decided to join the Clippers. “The other teams are great, and I’m glad the teams wanted to come after me, but I kind of looked at the like picture, where can I go? [where] I don’t have to be John Wall from 2016 and I have to carry the burden and do it all [things] And press on. I suspect [LA] I was missing a piece of having a guard, which is a great situation for me to be there.”

Association sources said Wal will compete for the position of starting point guard Reggie Jackson. Wall welcomed the competition and said it was okay in whatever role he would be asked to play.

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“For me, I’m just happy to play basketball again,” Wall said. “I’m a competitor. I know a lot of people ask me, ‘Are you crazy if I started or not?” I don’t care. I’m a competitor, and I just want a chance to go out and compete for a place, and if I get it, I’ll get it. And if I don’t, we know how talented Reggie Jackson is and what he’s done for this team and helping these guys, especially when Kohi and PJ were out. home. Even when they were [healthy]It’s a wonderful piece. Whoever gets the slick is awesome.”

However, Wall made it clear that he can still play at the level he did in 2016-2017, when he averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists for the Washington Wizards.

“I still get all the things I owned in 2016,” he said. “But like, yeah, I only played 40 games [two seasons ago]But last year wasn’t my fault or my choice, and I couldn’t control it. “

And with this Clippers team, Wall thinks it will be a problem facing defenses.

“It will be difficult for them to defend,” Wall said. “For me, I’m glad I don’t have to have the best player guarding me every night like I’ve had my whole career.

“He told me the third best defender would have to guard me? Good luck.”

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