John Wall Discusses Rockets Stint, Joining Clippers

While he has since moved on after reaching a buyout with the Rockets over the summer, John Wall admitted during a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic that he was “pissed as hell” at the way his last season in Houston played out.

According to Wall, at the end of his first year in Houston in 2020/21, he had positive exit meetings with head coach Stephen Silas and Rafael Stone, and left those meetings believing that he’d continue to play a significant role for the Rockets the following season. The veteran point guard found out a few months later that was no longer the plan.

“In August, I went back to (Houston to) check on my condo and I was going back to Miami, where I’ll (stay) in the summer,” Wall said. “So they were like, ‘Yo, the thing is, listen, we’ll bring you out for like 10 minutes a game, and sometimes you won’t play at all, or you can just not play at all the whole year and we’ll try to find a trade.’ And I was like, ‘I’m not trying to play 10 minutes a game or not play some games.’ I didn’t want to do that.”

Wall and the Rockets ultimately agreed to have him sit out until the team could find a trade, which didn’t happen. Following his offseason buyout from the Rockets, the 32-year-old landed in Los Angeles, where he’s off to a good start so far this season with the Clippers, averaging 16.0 PPG on 51.9% shooting in 23.0 MPG in his first two games.

Wall spoke to Amick about several topics, including his decision to sign with the Clippers. The conversation is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber, but here are a few of the highlights:

On the silver lining of the Achilles tear that sidelined him for the 2019/20 season:

“I think during the time when I had my Achilles injury, it was perfect timing for me to have that injury, because my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and my first son was born. So I got to spend time working through that whole process, taking her to chemo and stuff like that. I got to see my first son being raised every day. Most of the time when you have a kid, we’re midseason (with the team). We don’t get to see them grow every day. We miss the steps because we’ve got to travel. So I think all that (was a blessing).”

On getting the opportunity to join a contender like the Clippers:

“I knew I had so much left in the tank. That’s why it’s great to be with a great organization, a great group of guys, a great coaching staff, because a lot of teams said, ‘Well, we didn’t see you play and we don’t know if you’ve still got it.’ And I’m like, ‘Just give me a chance. I know what I’ve got. Just give me a chance.’ And they gave me a chance.

“Playing with a great team, you’re still trying to figure things out, build things out, and we’ve got a couple of guys on minute restrictions. But I feel like when we get all that down and pat, we’re gonna be something special.”

On how long the Clippers had been on his radar as a possible landing spot:

“Me and P (Paul George) were talking about it the whole time. We were trying to figure it out. I had two years left (on my contract with Houston), and we were trying to wait until I had one year left and try to keep fighting.”

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