Since John Calipari came to Lexington in 2008, there’s a strong argument to be made for John Wall being the most beloved basketball player during Calipari’s tenure. That’s not to be disrespectful to Anthony Davis, Tyler Ulis, Demarcus Cousins, De’Aaron Fox, Julius Randle or anyone else. And before you start asking “what about Oscar!?” though reigning National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe will most certainly become that, he’s still in school so I didn’t include him in that list yet.
Wall had swagger, an incredible smile and a relationship with Big Blue Nation that went a long way. It’s been over a decade since he last played a game in Rupp Arena yet he still makes an occasional appearance back to Rupp Arena to visit his UK family.
The former Kentucky standout was the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and had a superb start to his professional career. However, that all changed just over five years ago.
Wall went from a deep playoff run with the Washington Wizards to putting up a goose egg in a game seven that would’ve sent his team to the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals. He then began to battle shoulder, knee and Achilles injuries over the next three years that allowed him to play in just 73 of 246 regular season games.
In 2020 he was traded to Houston and played 40 games for a team going in the wrong direction. Last year he sat out while the team continued to “tank.” It’s been a rough five years for John Wall on the court, but his personal life has also recently gone went downhill.
Let's be real, this battle ain't easy... but I'm still here. I hope my story helps somebody. @PlayersTribune https://t.co/LoYlArHMsH— John Wall (@JohnWall) September 22, 2022
Wall lost his mom to breast cancer in 2019. She was his best friend and no. 1 fan. Regardless of who you are, losing your mom has to be one of the worst experiences to go through. For Wall, it was indeed the worst experience of his life. He recently wrote a letter to the Tribune and opened up in full detail on her passing and how he even contemplated suicide.
However, despite going through an incredibly dark time, he’s “still here” and hopes his story will help somebody going through something similar to what he’s experienced.
“I’M ON THAT TODAY!” - @JohnWall pic.twitter.com/5SeK6UBIW2— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) September 22, 2022
We never fully get past losing the ones we love. But we can do things in honor of their memory. Wall is doing that now with his new team — the Los Angeles Clippers. After a tough five year stretch, he’s found a team that wants to win with him as one of the focal points. There’s been nothing but positive feedback coming out of the Clippers’ camp regarding Wall, his play and chemistry with the team. In his piece to the Tribune, Wall notes he played the game of basketball for his mother... to make her proud. Even though she’s passed, he knows she’s looking down from above cheering as hard as ever.
It’s such an incredible read and outstanding job by Wall to fully open up about something that certainly isn’t an easy subject to talk about. His piece is most definitely worth taking the time to sit down and read.
Tweet of the Day
Most passing yards against the blitz so far this season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2022
1️⃣ Will Levis: 396
2️⃣ Stetson Bennett: 363
3️⃣ DJ Uiagalelei: 349 pic.twitter.com/FsXcdTr7mF
Excellent under pressure.
Levis has to do a better job of protecting himself - Vaught’s Views
Need to avoid the big hits.
Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season - ESPN
Who Kentucky football has offered over the past week - KSR
Keeping up with the latest in recruiting.
Sean Payton would be interested in NFL return as coach - ESPN
He says it would have to be the right situation, though.
Wan’Dale Robinson “close” to returning for New York Giants - KSR
Big news for the Giants.
Ravens add veteran Jason Pierre-Paul to aid pass rush - ESPN
Nice addition to their front seven.
Presidents Cup: Americans hold on for early lead - USA Today
Ready for a big weekend.
Jerry Jones would welcome Cowboys QB controversy - ESPN
This is an awful idea.