John Wall said he was “back” last Saturday after he scored 28 points in the Goodman League’s 135-134 win over the Los Angeles-based Drew League at Trinity University. And, if you’ve been following him this summer, Wall has certainly regained the bounce that he joked on his Twitter account that he had lost.
Wall has played pickup ball and in pro-game leagues all around the country this summer, which isn’t unusual for a basketball junky like him. But Wall admitted that the uncertainty over when the lockout will actually end -- and when he’ll have an opportunity to face quality competition again -- has led him to suit in more games than he thought he would.
If the league hadn’t banned its players from NBA facilities and making contact with team staff members, “I’d probably be in DC working out with my coaches,” Wall said. “But since it’s a lockout, why not? That’s why you see me going to different cities and different neighborhoods and not getting paid for it. Just enjoy myself. Keep your game fresh.”
Wall has been working out regularly at Impact gym in Los Angeles. He has trained with teammates Jordan Crawford, Nick Young and JaVale McGee. Draft pick Chris Singleton has also traveled to California to workout with players on the West Coast as well.
“I’ve been drilling myself, in LA, getting stronger and getting treatment everyday,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep everything up to par and just work out together.”
Wall wrote on his Twitter account that he got booed during an appearance at the Greater North Carolina Pro Am in Durham, where he talked some trash to North Carolina Central forward Dominique Sutton. Wall scored 36 points in that game, but only after being held scoreless in the first half.
“It was the worst 36 I could ever imagine. I couldn’t make a basket in the first half. I had just flew in from LA, so I didn’t have no legs or nothing. I got it going in the second half,” Wall said, adding that the boos really were minimal. “It really wasn’t nobody booing me, it was just some of [Sutton’s] Durham people. I just like going back home and playing in different places.”
But Wall isn’t ready to play in a different country. He has committed to taking online courses at Kentucky and has received updates about the labor dispute through emails and text messages from Maurice Evans, a union vice president. The players’ union has been hosting regional meetings and Wall said he plans to attend the next one in Los Angeles.
Although his former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins feels that a lot of NBA players will go overseas if the lockout lasts well into the regular season, Wall said that he has not thought about going abroad. “That’ll probably be later down the road, but not right now.”