NBA Star John Wall Says He Experienced Suicidal Thoughts: 'Darkest Place I've Ever Been In'

·3 min read
John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on from the bench against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 4, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on from the bench against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 4, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

Michael Reaves/Getty

Los Angeles Clippers point guard John Wall said he dealt with suicidal thoughts over the last two years as he fought to remain in the NBA.

Opening up in an interview with the Salvation Army and shared to Twitter Monday, the 31-year-old athlete said that the last two years were the "darkest place I've ever been in.

"At one point in time I thought about committing suicide," he added.

The Clippers' new point guard listed a number of difficult life events, dating back to the 2018-2019 NBA season, when Achilles tendon injuries limited him to just 32 games with the Washington Wizards and kept him entirely out of the 2019-2020 season as well, according to Bleacher Report.

"Tearing my Achilles, my mom being sick, my mom passing, my grandma passing a year later, all this in the midst of COVID at the same time," Wall said in the interview. "Me going to chemotherapy, sitting [with] my mom taking her last breaths wearing the same clothes for three days straight laying on the couch beside her sobbing."

Wall's mother, Frances Pulley, died of cancer at age 58 in December 2019, the outlet reported.

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The 10-year NBA veteran credited his support system and therapy with helping him get an opportunity to play with the Clippers in the upcoming season. While Wall played with the Houston Rockets in the 2020-2021 season, he appeared in only 40 games and sat out the entirety of last season before signing with the Clippers in free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"I don't like to brag about [it] because everybody goes through something, 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," Wall told the host.

"To me, to be back on top where I want to be and see the fans still wanting me to play, having support from my hometown, their support period means a lot... in a time where I had to go find a therapist," he continued. "A lot of people think 'I don't need help, I can get through it anytime,' but you gotta find what is best for you and I did that."

John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Awards Show at the Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Awards Show at the Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.

Atiba Jefferson/NBAE via Getty

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In Los Angeles, Wall joins fellow NBA veterans Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on a Clippers team that he said simply wants to win.

"A lot of people say 'You look good on paper,' " Wall explained. "But I think a lot of guys, we're at an age in our career where we just want to win. Ain't about trying to be the best player, or trying to be the guy leading our team in scoring, or trying to be MVP."

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"I'm just happy to have this opportunity to play basketball again — I think everything I went through and have been through has all been a part of God's plan," he added. "Even though I was in a dark place the last couple of years, I'm super excited — you can kind of tell, me smiling a lot more, all those type of things — to play the game I love."

Wall asserted that "the sky's the limit" for the 2022-2023 Clippers and said he will "just let my game speak for itself when I get in between those four lines" this upcoming season.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.