NBA

John Wall happy to be Clippers sidekick: 'I don't want to have to be the Batman every night'

By Sports Desk July 10, 2022

After being counted on to be 'the man' for much of his career, John Wall is excited about being on a Los Angeles Clippers team where he will not be the focal point of the offense.

Wall, who signed a two-year deal with the Clippers after being waived by the Houston Rockets, said he does not now need to be "Batman every night".

"That's the ultimate goal for me is [at] this part of my career, I don't want to have to be the Batman every night to try to win," Wall said.

"On our team that we have, I think anyone can be Batman."

The Washington Wizards selected Wall with the number one overall pick in 2010, and he led the team in scoring in five of his nine seasons in the nation's capital before being traded to the Rockets for Russell Westbrook in December 2020 after sitting out the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from heel surgery.

Wall averaged 20.6 points with the Rockets in 2020-21 but only appeared in 40 games. Last season, he did not play at all as Houston tried to figure out what to do with the five-time All-Star as they rebuilt the roster with younger players.

Wall's 40 games in 2020-21 mark his only appearances in the NBA over the past three seasons.

"My last three years, I was in the darkest place I have ever been,” he said. "I don't think a lot of people could have gotten through what I went through."

The Clippers are looking forward to the 2022-23 season with Wall on the roster and Kawhi Leonard returning after missing all of last season due to a torn ACL.

"I kind of looked at the picture of like, where can I go [where] I don't have to be the John Wall from 2016 and have to carry the load and do all those [things] and have the pressure on me," Wall said.

"I think [the Clippers were] missing a piece of having a point guard, and it's a great situation for me to be there."

Wall is expected to compete with Reggie Jackson for the starting point guard job with the Clippers, who lost both games in the play-in round last season after going 42-40.

"For me, I'm just happy to play basketball again," Wall said.

"I'm a competitor. I know a lot of people ask me, 'Are you mad if you start or not start?' I don't care. I'm a competitor, and I just want an opportunity to go out there and compete for a spot, and if I get it, I get it.

"And if I don't, we know how talented Reggie Jackson is and what he's done for this team and helping these guys out, especially when Kawhi and [Paul George] were out. Even when they were [healthy], he's a great piece. Whoever gets the spot is great."

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