Sunday, August 14, 2022

John Wall happy with supporting role on Clippers, not having to ‘be Batman every night’ at this part of career

John Wall has been the best player on pretty much every team he’s ever played on. He was a top high school recruit, a star at Kentucky and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He took a backseat to James Harden upon joining the Houston Rockets, but once Harden was gone, Wall resumed his primary ball-handling duties for the brief time he spent in Texas. But now that he’s received a buyout from Houston and will join the Los Angeles Clippers, his role is about to change drastically.

While Wall, who agreed to a two-year, $13.2 million deal in free agency, may be a starter at point guard, the offense decidedly runs through Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and that suits him just fine. “I don’t have to do it every night, I don’t have to be Batman every night for us to win,” Wall said per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “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. On our team that we have, I think anyone can be Batman.”

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Wall is so excited to be a Clipper that he doesn’t even care whether or not he starts. “For me, I’m just happy to play basketball again,” he 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 PG were out. Even when they were [healthy], he’s a great piece. Whoever gets the spot is great.”

The Clippers have been loaded on the wings for years, but they’ve lacked a traditional playmaker at the point guard position. That is exactly what Wall brings to the team. He can make life easier for all of the shooters the Clippers have assembled and ease the ball-handling burden on Leonard and George. 

The Clippers have excelled at finding veterans at the lowest points of their career and rehabilitating their value. Nicolas Batum and Reggie Jackson are both excellent examples of that, and now Wall, a former All-Star, has a chance to be their biggest win on the margins yet.

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