Clippers' John Wall Says He Got 'As Close as You Can Get' to Suicide

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Houston Rockets player John Wall in attendance during an NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Chargers on September 19, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers guard John Wall detailed his experience suffering from suicidal thoughts in an essay for The Players' Tribune published Thursday:

"One night, after all my homies had left and it was just me sitting there all alone with my thoughts running wild, I got about as close as you can get to making an unfortunate decision and leaving this earth. Only by the grace of God, and the love of my sons, am I still here to tell my story."

Wall explained his low point came after his mother died in 2019.

The five-time NBA All-Star said he was riding high in 2017 as a superstar on the court while earning a contract extension with the Washington Wizards, but his life changed significantly over the next few years.

"I tore my Achilles and lost the only sanctuary I've ever known—the game of basketball," Wall said. "I ended up with such a bad infection from the surgeries that I nearly had to have my foot amputated. A year later, I lost my best friend in the whole world, my mom, to breast cancer."

Wall detailed those struggles with Donal Ware of Box to Row Radio in August, calling it the "darkest place" he's ever been in:

Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS

Wow. Really honest stuff from John Wall. John has been through so much in his life. Glad to hear he’s doing better. <a href="https://t.co/LIFo5dLugn">https://t.co/LIFo5dLugn</a>

The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick spent his first nine seasons with the Wizards, but injuries have derailed his career and he has played just 72 games over the last four years. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2020 before sitting out all last season.

It led to unrest in his personal life, which was only exacerbated by losing his mother. Wall's father also died when he was just nine years old.

"Money and fame don’t mean s--t if you don't have peace in your life," he said.

Wall was finally able to get himself back on track mentally after telling someone in his inner circle that he needed help. He saw a therapist, which he believes helped slowly turn things around.

The 32-year-old is set to return to the court this season after signing a deal with the Clippers.

"I've been through some of the darkest times you can imagine … and yo…. I'm still here."

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting "HOME" to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine at the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or emailing info@nami.org.