When John Wall sat out the entirety of the 21-22 season, it was widely portrayed as a mutual decision between him and the Houston Rockets. Wall recently made it clear that it was not his choosing.
"Pissed as hell," said Wall to Sam Amick of The Athletic. "Pissed as hell. I wanted to play basketball. In my last meeting I had there, they were like, ‘Oh, you had a great year the year before. We can’t wait to have you back next year. Build on this, and try to keep helping young guys.’ So I’m thinking I’ll play the same role I played the year before."
Wall was asked to specify who from the Rockets he was communicating with.
"I’m talking to (Rockets coach Stephen) Silas, and I ended up talking to (Rockets general manager) Rafael (Stone) too. Those are great guys, and I ended up talking to both of them. It’s the exit meeting, so you’re talking to both of them back-to-back. And I’m thinking, ‘OK, I’m coming back here next year. And I want to be in a winning situation, but whatever position God put me in, I’m built for it. I can get through it. I just want to help as much as I can.’ And I felt like I deserved to play, like I deserved to start. (But) if you drafted a guy No. 1, or No. 2, and he’s a point guard, like I totally get it. I’m not mad about that.
"So that was kind of tough for me to be in that situation, because I want to play. And then the whole time, I was like, ‘Man, we’ve got to find a way to get out of here.’ I know it’s gonna be harder because I had two years left (on his contract worth a combined $91 million)."
Wall was then asked how the Rockets informed him of their change of position.
"In August, I went back to check on my condo and I was going back to Miami, where I’ll (stay) in the summer. So they were like, ‘Yo, the thing is, listen, we’ll bring you out for like 10 minutes a game, and sometimes you won’t play at all, or you can just not play at all the whole year and we’ll try to find a trade.’ And I was like, ‘I’m not trying to play 10 minutes a game or not play some games.’ I didn’t want to do that."