Washington Wizards point guard John Wall did an interview on The Jump with Rachel Nichols, Paul Pierce, and Brian Windhorst about his knee surgery, supposed shots taken at him, and more. Read everything he had to say here.
On recovery from knee surgery:
“It’s going great. I’m very positive through this whole process. Mentally strong, I’ve been through it before. It’s just to a point where I know I couldn’t be myself I just wanted to get myself healthy. I know I got a long career that I want to play in. To jeopardize it on this season, I thought it was best to have surgery.
On how he feels:
“I feel great. It hasn’t been a week yet and I started rehab. Getting some motion in the knee, bending it. I’m still on crutches so I can’t walk yet, but other than that, I’m fine, I’m just waiting to get the stitches out.”
On veiled shots at him:
“It was funny to me at first. Just to see some of the things that people were saying, certain type of comments. I’ve seen these guys put in a lot of work every day. I know these guys, we always say the motto is next man up no matter what. I think we moved the ball well early in the season we just couldn’t make shots. And then we couldn’t defend at all. I think now guys are stepping up. The first unit and second unit are playing very well, but it was kind of shocking to hear a lot of people, couple people say the ball is moving a lot better. That’s what I pride myself off of is being more happy when my teammates are scoring than I am.”
On Wizards ceiling:
“I think it’s great, like you [Pierce] said, when I come back, I’m going to play the same exact way. I can see a guy go 0-for-20 on the side, [but] if he’s open I’m going to make the right play. The most important thing for me is I want to be able to play defense the way I’m capable of. I think that’s what was hurting our team. Me just not being able to guard the person the way I wanted to and then I just couldn’t create as much. This [Wizards five-game winning streak] is showing me a little more that other guys can create off of pick and rolls, other guys can make plays and I think that’s going to make my job a lot easier.”
On Marcin Gortat and reported trade rumors:
“Marc has been a great teammate, no matter if he gets traded or stays with the team, he’s always been a great teammate, he’s been a great professional. He makes my job a lot easier. We have one of the best pick and roll tandems in the last couple years. He sets screens, he knows how to get me open. He definitely catches the ball and finishes plays. It’s all up to the front office to make those decisions. Me as a franchise player and a leader, I just try to do my best to prepare myself and prepare my team to go out there and play. I think they know what’s best for us, to add a piece or not. We always make trades at some point in time and I think they will do their best job, what’s best for our team.”
On if he feels the need to talk to his teammates:
“No, I just think if you have a problem with anybody as a man and the principles I stand on, you just talk face to face. So, they have my number or they can see me in person and we have any discomforts, we can talk.”
On if watching is the hardest part:
“Yes, watching is definitely tough, but like I said, I’m always prideful when my team is winning and guys are playing well. That’s the most exciting thing to see somebody else do a great job. Me as the leader of this team, I’m at home watching every game with my Game Ready on supporting my team and hoping those guys do well and we can continue to keep the winning streak going.”
On the six o’clock Sports Center, Wall did an interview with Michael Smith and they delved into the potential shots at the point guard further.
On how the potential shots make him feel:
“It don’t really make me feel two ways, it makes me feel like it wasn’t classy the way they said it. That’s all it was, it really wasn’t professional or classy to me. If you have a problem, you have my phone number, you can talk to me personally. That’s behind me. I watch these guys work every day, I’m very happy that these guys are winning. People who say I’m not happy, they don’t know nothing about basketball, know nothing about John Wall. I’m happy the next man is stepping up. Tomas is doing a great job.”
On if the team needs to clear the air:
“Ain’t no clear the air with me. If anybody has a problem with me, they can talk to me personally. If they say they don’t have a problem, you move on from it. We all grown men. We all can speak to each other how we need to speak to each other and leave it behind closed doors if there is anything and if it’s not, move on and we’re still a brotherhood. We all get together and say ‘family on three’ every time we have practice, every time we have a game and we stick by that.”