John Wall says he “deserved” the supermax contract extension he inked with the Wizards two summers ago.
Wall, 28, is spending this offseason recovering from multiple injuries and working towards his college degree, and insists that his “loyalty is to D.C.”
The five-time NBA All-Star adds that he would like the Wizards to add some additional firepower around him and fellow backcourt stud Bradley Beal.
Per The Athletic:
Since you’ve decided to take your supermax, a number of players have declined the big money and demanded trades to find happiness elsewhere. Does it surprise you that so many guys, like Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, have passed on the money?
JW: “I don’t know. Everybody got their own decision, but where I come from, it’s ‘I ain’t turning down no money.’ It’s just as simple as that. I’m going to keep it real with you. Without the money, I’m still going to play the game the way I love to play it because that’s what I love to do. Kawhi is a quiet guy, stays to himself, I’m really cool with Kawhi, but he stays to himself, and I guess if you already won championships, you can take those routes. I’ve never been in those positions where I was that guy to take those routes. Where I come from, I’m not supposed to be here. … I play because I love it, but I’m not turning down that kind of money. One, I love where I’m at. I love D.C. My loyalty is to D.C. To hear a lot of Wizards people, Tommy (Sheppard, the new general manager), (managing partner) Ted Leonsis and (Monumental Sports and Entertainment senior vice president) Zach Leonsis and all those guys, the whole community is behind me, and they’re not giving up on me, so that’s big for me. I’m not one of those guys that wants to play for multiple teams. I want to play for one organization. If it comes down to it, where you have to move around, and it don’t work, they’re giving me the opportunity to come back, not this year but next year after, if I don’t play well, you trade me. I can’t be mad at nobody because they gave me the opportunity and I gave myself a chance to prove myself. That’s all I ask for.”
You’ve said a lot about the injury, the critics, but it’s got to be tough going on social media. Do you just log off?
JW: “No, I love it. It fuels me. (The 20)16-17 (season) was my best year. (Averaged) 23 (points) and 11 (assists). John Wall is a top-two point guard. I get injured. John Wall is not a top-five point guard? Now, because I’m injured, I can’t defend myself. Now I’ve got the worst contract ever? That’s fine. I deserved that contract. My whole mindset is – it’s in my notes – I didn’t deserve it? When I come back, I’m going to show them I earned it. I never want a handout. I always worked for mine. A lot of guys got a lot of stuff that’s given. Never made McDonald’s All-American. Took national player of the year away from me when I was in college. OK, I’m the No. 1 pick. I’m going to prove myself. You get the hype. I look back at it. My ’09 class in high school, I can only name probably nine guys in the league. Out of my draft class, it’s maybe eight guys in the league. It is what it is.”