John Wall wants to get back to being himself.
He’s got a new coach in Washington, one with a pedigree of playing faster and winning in Scott Brooks. But that’s just part of it for Wall — he’s finally going to be healthy.
Wall had surgeries on both knees this summer, which likely has him missing part of training camp but will have him feeling good for the regular season, Wall told Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Wall’s priority is to get healthy after having procedures on both knees – the removal of loose particles from his right knee and calcium deposits from his left patella tendon….
“It’s something I feel like I had to do,” Wall told the Vertical. “It was painful. You watch a lot in games, I jumped off my right leg, or I jumped off two feet. I never jumped off my left leg. That’s the reason I rarely went right, because I had to jump off two feet, because this leg, I couldn’t get off of it. … Dr. Parker told me, ‘I don’t know how the hell you were able to do it.’ [Famed orthopedist] Dr. [James] Andrews told me the same thing: ‘You’re basically playing on one leg, to be honest with you.’ “
Wall considers the upcoming season to be a career “relaunch” because he plans to return without painful restrictions in his left knee. “It’s going to be like the first time I’ll be really healthy and be myself,” Wall told The Vertical. “If you know me, you know I’m a person that’s going to attack it like nothing else. I’m taking this challenge on. It’s a tough challenge to try to rebuild everything and get stronger. It’s a challenge I’m willing to take to come back to be a better player, and come back and try to have the best season I’ve ever had.”
The Wizards were disappointing and missed the playoffs last season and finishing .500 at 41-41. The Wizards did play faster (fifth in the league) and scored more points, but they gave up 2.3 points more per 100 possessions — Washington fell from a top five to a bottom 10 defense in one season. That’s not going to get it done. That’s one thing Wall and Brooks must improve.
But maybe a healthy Wall and more comfort pushing the pace (and attacking the rim off the pick in the half court, and with a healthy Bradley Beal) will have Wall leading a Wizards’ offense that is one of the more feared in the NBA.