John Wall has gone through a tremendous amount of struggle in the last few years of his life - dealing with his mother passing away from cancer, a ruptured Achilles tendon, and getting traded from the Washington Wizards. He detailed it all in an incredibly heartbreaking piece with The Players Tribune.
The avalanche of rough life events, catalyzed by his mother's death, sent Wall into an intense spiral of depression - the one big trigger was his mother getting diagnosed with cancer.
"I remember one of the things that hurt me so bad was when she started her chemo treatments, just seeing her struggling to get up out of the recliner afterwards. You know how they got the patients sitting in those recliners for hours while they do their treatment? That was when my anger issues started coming out, because in my mind, they should have you in a nice hospital bed. I was getting frustrated with the nurses, because I just couldn’t stand to see my mom like that."
The moment that really sent Wall down a path of suicidal thoughts was when his mother finally passed away. She was his best friend, and he wasn't able to cope by playing the game of basketball because of his injury.
"My best friend is gone," Wall said in the article. "I can’t play the game I love. Everybody just got their hand out. Nobody is checking on me for me. It’s always coming with something attached. Who’s there to hold me down now? What’s the point of being here?"
The tipping for Wall was when the Washington Wizards traded John wall - something he never expected would happen.
"In the midst of it all, the trade rumors started," Wall said. "The franchise I had sacrificed my blood, sweat and tears to represent for 10 years decided they wanted to move on. I was devastated, I’m not gonna lie. That was when I started debating — literally debating — whether I wanted to go on, almost every night."
In the midst of all his heartbreak, John Wall found purpose in raising his two sons. Even when someone is a millionaire, that doesn't make them immune to depression. John Wall's story is a courageous example of helping athletes find the mental health they need.