John Wall Opens up About His Struggles to Get Back in the NBA

Published 01/03/2021, 6:15 AM EST
Jan 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets puts up a basket during the fourth quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center on January 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


When the Houston Rockets traded Russell Westbrook for the 30-year-old John Wall, they were under some scrutiny. They were trading a proven star with a negligible injury record in Westbrook for a star who had missed the last two years with an ACL injury in Wall.

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Even though he was decent in his training sessions, critics doubted that he could replicate his old form in the NBA. A month later, it looks like the Rockets have got the better end of the deal.

Wall has only played two games for the Rockets but has been impressive in both the games. The 5-time All-Star starred in their second successive win as they defeated the Kings 102-94. He scored 28 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds against the Kings.

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Wall talks about his struggles to get back in the NBA

In a recent press conference, John Wall opened up about the how he felt about leading the Rockets to the win. He also opened up about his struggles in the last two years to get back to prime form for his NBA return.

He said, “Last two years have been a lot for me. There have been a lot of adversities I had to deal with. Ups and downs, losing my mom, having two beautiful boys, dealing with injuries, going through pandemic, all those type of things added.

“I just put a lot of hard work and dedication to get myself back to this day. This is a good win for me. I can’t ask for a better start for me to be 2 and 0 in my first two games playing and being with a great organization.”

It’s great to see the 5-time All-Star back in the NBA. He has hit the ground running almost immediately and has emerged as a leader for the side. With all the talks about James Harden waiting for a trade to materialize, the Rockets will be relieved that they already have a leader in John Wall who can be the main man in Harden’s absence.

Can John Wall be the missing piece of the Rockets’ puzzle?

The Rockets transformed themselves when they brought in James Harden from the OKC Thunder in 2013. Since then, Harden has proven to be one of the best scorers in the league and led the team to multiple playoffs.

Despite having ‘The Beard’ on their side, Houston haven’t conquered the Western Conference. The front-office has always tried to add the ideal second star alongside Harden to get over the hump.

First, it was Dwight Howard. The partnership looked decent initially but didn’t work out. They then added Chris Paul, who looked like the perfect complementary star to Harden.

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They nearly trumped the Big Three of the Warriors, but somehow luck was not on their side and Paul did not play the last two games due to injury. A year later, Paul was traded to bring in Russell Westbrook.

The Westbrook and Harden duo looked good on paper, but the same did not transpire on the court. They were crushed in the playoffs, with Russ having a dismal series against the Lakers. They traded him this season to bring in John Wall.

Wall is also a point guard similar to Harden. It will be interesting to see how they complement each other. The 5-time All-Star has looked great in the two regular season games he has played. Till now, Wall and Harden have played with each other in two games in total. In the limited time, it looked like they can complement each other. It’s super early to arrive at any conclusion, but the signs are surely encouraging.

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With much better complementary pieces like Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins in the team, the Rockets led by the duo of Harden and Wall can be a championship contender. The 30-year-old might be the player who can finally complement Harden and propel them to a championship team.

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Aditya Mohapatra

722 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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