Wall, who has spent most of the last five seasons sidelined—playing only 113 games total—writes that a year after forcing game seven against Boston in 2017, he “lost the only sanctuary I’ve ever known” due to a torn ACL and heel infection that nearly cost him his foot. It was only a year later that Wall would lose his mother to breast cancer and begin sinking into “a really dark place.”
“My best friend is gone,” Wall remembers. “I can’t play the game I love. Everybody just got their hand out. Nobody is checking on me for me.” He thought to himself, “It’s always coming with something attached. Who’s there to hold me down now? What’s the point of even being here?”
Finally, Wall admitted to himself, “Yo! I need some f***ing help!” adding, “Those six words changed my life.” Those six words would also end up leading him to his first step—finding a therapist. After speaking with his family, Wall sought treatment and found a professional who gradually helped him turn things around.
While Wall has only recently been open about his struggles with mental health, he believes his story will help others.
“I know exactly who I am, and what I represent, and how many people need to hear this. So I’m not afraid to tell you that I’ve been in a place that was so dark that suicide felt like the only option.”
The 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion states in his essay that he feels like he’s taken a breath of fresh air. His return to the NBA is set for October 20th, when he and the Clippers will take on their rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers.