WASHINGTON — Mike Conley, Brook Lopez, Kyrie Irving and teammate Bradley Beal. These are four arguably inferior players that are all making more money than Washington Wizards point guard John Wall this season.
Wall is set to make $17 million this season, based on the five-year, $85 million extension he signed before his age 22 season in 2013. Rumors have percolated throughout the offseason that Wall is miffed by the current economics of the game, specifically the max contract for Beal and extension plus sneaker deal signed by James Harden.
On Friday, he took to video to speak directly to friends, fans and haters, setting the record straight:
“I just wanted to clear the air for all these people saying I’m watching other people’s pockets, that I’m not worried about basketball and getting better, thinking about contracts and this and that,” Wall said. “That doesn’t matter to me.”
Wall released the video through Uninterrupted after reports in The Ringer and Slam Magazine said he felt disrespected by an endorsement deal from Adidas that would have paid him a fraction of Harden’s deal. On top of that, the Houston Rockets tacked $118 million onto the end of Harden’s deal.
According to Wall, however, that’s much ado about nothing.
“James Harden’s contract extension? I don’t care; happy for him, that’s my guy,” Wall said flatly. “If I do what John Wall is supposed to do and the Washington Wizards win, I will make my money down the road.
“If I produce like I’m supposed to on a basketball court and take care of myself and image, I’m going to be fine making money. That’s not why I play the game of basketball. I love the game of basketball.”
Closer to home, Wall had to watch as Beal, who has struggled with injuries that could permanently stunt his potential, sign the largest contract in franchise history, and indeed the fourth-largest in the NBA.
Wall doesn’t care about that either.
“Me talking about Bradley Beal got more money than I did–I’m not mad, I’m happy. He’s my teammate,” Wall said He came out at the right time when the contract money went up. I can’t control that.
“The Wizards are going to do what they need to do to make sure I’m straight and the team is straight.”
Just 15 months after signing his initial extension with the Wizards, the NBA announced a new nine-year, $24 billion TV deal that flooded team salary caps. Players that came into the league behind Wall, like Beal, were in the right place at the right time to cash in.
And that is totally cool with Wall. Really.
“Please stop saying I’m watching money–I’m not,” he urged viewers. “I care about myself and getting better, rehab; worried about the Washington Wizards making it to the playoffs; just becoming a better player and a better person. Thank you so much.”
Now, it’s your turn to weigh in: