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John Wall Slams Rockets, Says They Were Tanking During 2020-21 Season

Doric SamJanuary 18, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: John Wall #11 of the LA Clippers looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 13, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers veteran point guard John Wall recently talked about his brief tenure with the Houston Rockets, and he accused the franchise of tanking for higher draft picks.

During the 2020-21 season, Wall was coming off a ruptured Achilles that caused him to miss the previous year. While the five-time All-Star was doing his best to compete, he felt like the Rockets weren't putting a winning roster on the floor.

"We lost 20 in a row. We were trying to lose on purpose, tanking," Wall told Tidal League (h/t Ben DuBose of Rockets Wire).

Houston could have been motivated to earn a high draft pick because the Oklahoma City Thunder owned the rights to swap first-round picks with the Rockets if Houston didn't finish in the top four of the draft lottery. The Rockets finished with a 17-55 record and earned the No. 2 pick, which they used to select shooting guard Jalen Green.

Wall played 40 games and averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. It was mutually decided that the 32-year-old would sit out last season after he and the Rockets couldn't come to an agreement on his playing time. The sides agreed to a buyout in June, and Wall signed with the Clippers the next month.

This season, the Rockets have the worst record in the NBA at 10-34. Wall said he feels the team's young players aren't developing properly amid Houston's rebuild. He specifically named Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr. as players he advised in the past.

"'The s--t y'all getting away with over here, you go to any other teams, you'd be out of the f--king league,'" he said he told them. "'You wouldn't play. You wouldn't play.' So, I'm trying to explain that to them because they think it's sweet."