Although the Washington Wizards are slated to be a part of the NBA’s proposed 22-team resumption of the 2019-20 campaign — which was approved by the league’s Board of Governors on Thursday — don’t expect the team’s star point guard, John Wall, to make his long-awaited return from injury this season. During a recent radio interview, the former All-Star reiterated that he has no intention of playing in ’19-20, despite recently claiming he was “110 percent” healthy.
As relayed by HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy, Wall’s confirmation came while speaking with 980 The Team’s Kevin Sheehan.
“No. I won’t play at all. I’ll wait until next season,” he told Sheehan. “That decision has already been made. So, no, I’m not [playing].”
Sheehan further pressed Wall, asking if he would reconsider in the event that the Wizards find themselves in a position to make the playoffs, but the former No. 1 overall pick maintained that he was focused on coming back strong for the 2020-21 season.
“The last two or three months, I haven’t been around the guys, I haven’t worked out with the guys, and we haven’t got any chemistry or anything like that. So, that’s a big factor. So, no, I won’t play at all. I’ll let those guys continue to work and keep getting better, and then I just can’t wait to get out there with those guys next season.”
Wall, who holds career averages of 19.0 points, 9.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and nearly two steals per contest over 573 games, hasn’t played since 2018 due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. Before his injury woes, the point guard had played in five straight All-Star Games and led the Wizards to four playoff appearances.
The Board of Governors’ approval of the return-to-play plan was the first step in moving toward a continuation of the season, which is currently on-target for a July 31 start date. The approved plan will have teams gather at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, as the location for all games and practices, as well as the housing for players, coaches, and staff. NBA basketball has been on hiatus since early March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
When play was suspended, the Wizards sat in the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 24-40. As a result, they are the sole team in the East outside of the eight squads currently seated in playoff position to be involved in the return-to-play scenario and could have a shot at the eighth and final seed in the East’s playoff bracket via a proposed play-in mini-tournament, as previously shared by The Inquisitr.