John Wall eager to step into assistant coach role during rehab
John Wall in all likelihood will sit out the entire 2019-20 NBA season as he continues to rehab his ruptured right Achilles, but the Washington Wizards have figured out a way to keep him engaged with the team as he returns to health. From the sound of it, Wall is eager to embrace his new role.
The Wizards announced last month that Wall will serve as an unofficial assistant under head coach Scott Brooks for the foreseeable future. Addressing his new duties this week, Wall hinted that the experience may provide insight into whether or not coaching is in his future once his playing days are over.
“I think this year will tell me whether I can be a coach or not,” Wall told NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast.
“I think you have to have a lot of patience and you’ve gotta know how to interact with every player. Every player’s attitudes and character and mood swings are totally different. I learned from when a coach tried to coach me when I was young and I wasn’t the guy to coach.”
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard expects that Wall will be able to reach players in ways that traditional coaches cannot. Wall believes his commitment to total honesty, which may be sometimes hard to hear for the younger Wizards players, will nevertheless resonate with them.
“I like to speak my mind,” Wall said. “It’s like my momma always told me, ‘I’d rather you speak your mind and say what you want to say, but say it in a respectful manner and a respectful way.'”
Wall indicated last month that he was uncomfortable with the notion of sitting out the entire season, but ultimately backed off and said he would do whatever the Wizards feel is in his best interests. Either way, the 29-year-old point guard is going to make the most of his absence from the court, however long it lasts.
“It will make my game a lot smarter and better for when I come back,” Wall said.