Clippers preseason practice reports say John Wall impressed – and he is happy to be back on the court. Having missed all of last season and missing the entire 2019/20 COVID/Bubble season with an ACL tear and heel infection, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen All-Star John Wall play at a high level.
When circumstances forced him off the court, depression took over his life following a torn Achilles tendon (and subsequent infections) and the death of his mother. Wall says it got to the point where he was close to suicide before finally seeking help. something he talked about in a Players Tribune article.
“I was so close to killing myself…
For me it all happened very quickly. In three years, I went from the top of the world to losing almost everything I ever cared about. In 2017, I’m jumping on the announcer’s table in DC after forcing Game 7 against Boston, and I’m the king of the city. I get the maximum extension thinking I’m a magician for life. A year later, I tore my Achilles and lost the only refuge I’ve ever known – playing basketball. As a result of the operation, I had such a severe infection that I almost had to amputate my leg. A year later, I lost my best friend in the world, my mother, due to breast cancer …
That was when I started walking into a really dark place. Thoughts swirled around in my head like… “My best friend is gone. I can’t play the game I love. Everyone just held out their hand. Nobody checks me. It always comes with something attached. Who’s there to hold me now? What’s the point of being here?”
Wall said his kids kept him from it for a while, but even that wasn’t nearly enough. In the end, he admitted to his loved ones that he needed help. They took him to a therapist who began to make a difference.
Wall is the latest in a lineup of NBA players. DeMar DeRozan as well as Kevin Love are the biggest names — to talk about their struggles with mental health. This is a step towards breaking the stigma and getting other people, athletes and non-athletes alike, to talk about it and seek help if they need it. Stepping forward on the wall is a big deal.
And when he returns to the court with the Clippers, he will have a much louder bullhorn to discuss the problem in the future.
The Zion advertising train keeps rolling. First there were reports that he was in the best shape of his life, then he entered the media day and everything looked like he is.
Zion now has his own Pelicans coach, Willie Green, who said he dominated the first day of tag team scrimmages. Via Andre Lopez of ESPN.
“Z looked amazing,” Pelicans coach Willie Greene said Wednesday afternoon. “His strength, his speed. He practically dominated the fight.”
“What stood out the most was his strength,” Greene said. “He quickly went downstairs. When he caught the ball, he made quick decisions. Whether it’s scoring points, finding a teammate. It was really impressive.”
Reach for the salt shaker to take it all with you – it’s boot camp bouts. Maybe Zion is playing so well now – he’s quite capable, he was almost an All-NBA player in the 2020-21 season (eighth in the voting ahead) before the foot injury – but we need to see him against other teams. In games that matter. Then we will need to see it within a certain amount of time.
If Zion can stay healthy this season, if his fitness is what everyone says, monster season could be waiting for him. Combine it with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and a strong supporting cast in New Orleans, and The Pelicans could surprise a lot of people—and be fun to watch.
NBA training camps have just opened and teams have yet to play a preseason game, but two contenders are already in trouble.
The Celtics have coach Ime Udoka suspended as a distraction, as well as a defensive anchor. Robert Williams will miss at least the start of the season due to another knee operation.
Corey Robinson of NBC Sports and I go through all the training camp news, including some of the wildest with the Lakers and Nets, what we can take away from it, and how good Zion Williamson as well as James Harden look physically.
The pair then discuss the potential for the NBA to move away from its “one-stop-shop” role and bring 18s back into the game – is this a good thing for the NBA?
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In 2004, Robert Sarver bought the Phoenix Suns for a then record $401 million.
When Sarver sells the team now — he was spurred into doing so after the backlash sparked by an NBA report that uncovered an 18-year pattern of bigotry, misogyny and a toxic workplace — he will make a huge profit.
Suns is now valued at $3 billion or more. reported by Ramona Shelburne and Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
There will be no shortage of contenders for the team, with league sources predicting a franchise valuation of more than $3 billion now that revenue has rebounded from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and with a new TV rights and CBA deal on the horizon. Sarver bought the team for just over $400 million in 2004.
Saver currently owns 35% of the Suns (the largest share), but reports say that his role as managing partner allows him to sell the entire team (minority owners should comply, although they will also make a nice profit). Sarver also decides who to sell the team to, not the NBA or other owners.
Early rumors of buyers included Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle), Bob Iger (former CEO of Disney), Lauren Powell Jobs (widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, she owns 20% of Washington Wizards) and others. There have been no reports of negotiations yet, and Sarver does not need to rush the deadlines.
Meanwhile, the argument…