John Wall hasn’t slowed down this offseason.
After escorting his mother to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (above), he won the NBA’s Community Assist Award. In the middle of all of that, he’s been rehabbing two knee injuries that required surgery, ending his season in May. The loose particles in his right leg and the bone spur in his left leg are cringe-worthy injuries that fans can hardly notice.
“It was important for me to get healthy and try to go back into this season being a young John Wall again,” he said. “I haven’t been myself basically the last three years. I don’t know how I was able to play through certain things I played through, to be an all-star. These are things the doctor asked me, like ‘How [were] you able to play on one leg?’ It’s just my heart and dedication and fight and grit to want to play.”
Wall was forced to withdraw his name from consideration for the Olympic team but told The Washington Post that his recovery is ahead of schedule.
Since he can’t always be on the court, he’s spending his time recruiting others to join him on the court in D.C. The Zards have planned for this to be their big summer, and Wall wants his team to go all in during Free Agency.
“To win in this new-era NBA, to try to have good pieces come, you might have to overpay people,” Wall said. “Us as a team and the organization’s got to be willing to step up to the plate and get what needs to be done, done.”
Unfortunately, bringing Kevin Durant home is out of the question. The long-running rumor seems to be put to rest since KD set his visit list, leaving D.C. out of the equation. Chandler Parsons could be in play as a small forward alongside Wall and Bradley, recently saying there’s “no chance” he’s returning to Dallas. There are two big options to bulk up inside, the elder Dwight Howard or the emerging Hassan Whiteside. Wall’s sales-pitch is simple.
“You’re playing with me, first of all,” Wall said with a grin this week. “A pass-first point guard that’s going to get you shots. Not to brag about it or talk about it, but shoot, I got a lot of guys paid since I’ve been here.”
Wall has earned three consecutive All-Star appearances, but never advanced farther than Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, falling in six games in 2014 and 2015. With a healthy Wall and a few new pieces, the Zards can get over the hump in the Eastern Conference in 2017.