“When I’m not playing, I’m watching these guys play,” Wall told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. “The young guys, they’re killing our team, and they’re looking at our bench and stuff. Just know I got those [written] down in my notes for when I come back when they start next season because I can’t wait to show them what I’m about.”
Wall won’t play this season, even if the NBA schedule does resume, but the 29-year-old expects to be fully healthy when he returns to the court for the Wizards’ 2020-21 campaign.
“I’m going to be better than what I was before — that’s the scary part of it,” said Wall, who already was expected to miss six to eight months after undergoing a procedure to remove bone spurs from his left heel before he injured his Achilles’ by slipping and falling in his home. “They didn’t get the best of John Wall yet. They just got a clip of it.”
During the hour-long interview, Wall revealed he has a second son on the way and shared his favorite Kobe Bryant story, which also featured Gilbert Arenas.
“My rookie year, we’re going to play [the Lakers] in L.A.,” Wall said. “I’m like: ‘I can’t believe I’m about to play the Bean. There’s no way I’m about to play Kobe.' And I’ve got Gil on my team, and Gil comes out there wearing Dolce & Gabbanas with no shoe strings. Straps, high-tops. I’m about to play Kobe with a guy like Gil that doesn’t care about nothing.”
Wall recalled blocking one of Bryant’s shots in that game, only for Bryant to drain a three-pointer on the Lakers’ ensuing possession. Bryant finished with 32 points in a 115-108 Lakers win. Less than two weeks later, the Wizards traded Arenas to the Orlando Magic. While Wall was Arenas’s teammate for a only few months, Agent Zero left an impression on the rookie while he showed him the ropes.
“He was always goofing around, having fun, but he still had that work ethic,” Wall said. “I would go in some nights to get shots up, and he’d already be in there shooting one-handed threes from half-court. I’m like: ‘What the hell? I can see why you used to hit these game-winners from back in the day and turn around.' … He was funny as hell. He was one of the coolest guys to be around, and he was loyal.”
Wall said that one of the first times he walked into the Wizards’ locker room, Arenas, who wore the same shoe size, gave him “a whole box of shoes,” including Louis Vuitton Yeezys, as a gift.
“He was always dope to me,” Wall said.
Asked how the rebuilding Wizards can improve next season, Wall pointed to the need for an established small forward to complement himself and Bradley Beal.
“I feel like we’re definitely going to need us a three that’s a dog, that can knock down shots and compete and create for us,” he said. “Then we’ve also got to build the bench, just being realistic. I love the team we got right now, and we have a lot of great pieces, a lot of young guys that are getting an opportunity that they probably wouldn’t have gotten on other teams.”
Read more from The Post: