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John Wall talks injury, his future and understanding Karl Towns’ grief on ESPN’s “The Jump”

John Wall is stuck inside just like the rest of us, but the former Wildcat is finding plenty of ways to stay busy and pass the time. First and foremost, he’s preparing for another comeback after suffering another devastating injury. When he’s not doing that, he’s catching up with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on her daily NBA show, The Jump.

The two talked basketball, of course, with Wall giving an update on his life and plan moving forward, now 13 months after he ruptured his Achilles. The injury caused Wall to sit out the entire 2019-20 season, and the Wizards’ record sat at 24-40 when the season came to a screeching halt.

Now, the NBA is considering extending the season through this summer to give the Coronavirus pandemic time to subside. Even if that’s the case, Wall will have to wait until the next season eventually rolls around before rejoining his teammates on the court.

“I just think with our program and what we’ve got scheduled for next season, one of my ultimate goals is to make sure I’m fully, all the way healthy,” Wall said. “My weight is down to where we want it at, but I’m going to wait until next season… In our best case scenario, we’re just going to wait until next season.”

As he mentioned, Wall has lost enough weight following his injury to feel ready to train and play basketball again. He told Nichols he’s down from 224-225 pounds to 212, but he’s not done yet. He’d like that scale to read somewhere between 200-205 pounds. Now that he’s able to do real cardio work again, things can get easier for Wall. After his surgery in February 2019, he wasn’t able to run or even jog for eight months. His entire weight-loss plan had to be focused around what he was eating. Now, he’s able to use his house’s half-court basketball court and weight room to prepare for his eventual return to the game.

When he isn’t working to get back into basketball shape, Wall spends his time away from the game… watching the game. The former Cat told Nichols he hopes to eventually go into coaching or even serve as a General Manager in the future.

My ultimate goal is to stick with basketball even with my career is over,” Wall said. “That’s how much I love the game.”

During a global pandemic, he understands there isn’t much basketball to be consumed, as a player or even as a fan just trying to watch the game. No problem. Wall will just spend time watching reruns.

“I’m watching old college games of girls and WNBA games. Even without us being able to play, I’m locked in on it,” Wall said.

Wall also took time to send his condolences to another member of the Kentucky basketball family, Karl-Anthony Towns, who lost his mother to Coronavirus last week.

If [Towns] needs anybody to talk to, he can definitely always hit my line,” Wall told Nichols.

Wall experienced the loss of his own mother just over four months ago, and he says it’s something he’ll never truly be able to move on from. He expects Towns feels the same way.

“It’s something you can never get over. All you can do is sit there and talk with somebody who’s been through it or spend time reminiscing on those memories,” Wall said. “It’s never going to [go away] because that’s your best friend; that’s your mom. That’s who put you on this earth; that’s who gave you the world to breath and everything you want to enjoy.”

In the interview, Wall also takes time to thank those who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically shouting out the “doctors and nurses, hospital staff, EMS workers, police officers [and] grocery store workers,” saying “we appreciate everything you’re doing.”

As for the rest of us, Wall just hopes everyone is taking it seriously.

“Everybody just do your part. Stay safe and stay inside,” Wall said. “Take this seriously because people are losing their lives. We’ve got to really stay focused and be together as a family and as a group and as a team.”

Also in the interview, Wall dives into his “beef” with his Wizards teammate Bradley Beal on that “noticeable noise” that’s affecting the team, and how they’re handling it like professionals. For more from the former Wildcat, check out The Jump‘s full interview here:

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)