DNP-rest has become an expected — although not completely accepted, at least by fans — part of the NBA season, especially in the final weeks. Players either want to rest up for the long playoff run ahead, or they don’t want to risk injury in meaningless games, either way star players are more prone to sit one out down the stretch.
Not Bradley Beal.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks was on The Crossover Podcast with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated and told the story of offering to rest Beal last season once the Wizards were out of the playoff chase.
I mean, we were going nowhere at the end of the season pretty fast. And I’m like, ‘Brad, you know what, I appreciate everything you’ve given me the last couple of years. And this year we’re not making the playoffs, we’re out. You want to like chill out the last couple of weeks and rest? And he said, ‘You know what, I signed up to be the leader of this team and do it every night.’ And he wanted to do that, and he wanted to play every game and that’s why he played for two years in a row already too.
Four or five years ago, Beal missed chunks of the season battling injury, including wrist surgery. However, he has played a full 82 games each of the last two seasons and missed only five games he season before that. He’s a competitor and a guy who doesn’t want to take a night off.
Although, when Beal is on a playoff team someday — whether in Washington or elsewhere — it might be wise to rest him a few games during the season to keep him fresh for the playoff grind.
Washington has offered Beal a three-year, $111 million max contract extension, the most it can offer him. Beal, however, has yet to sign it. There’s reason to wait if Beal feels healthy — if he can make the All-NBA team (he was seventh in guard voting last season but there are only six All-NBA guard spots), he can get a $250 million extension from the Wizards. That’s betting on himself, but it’s the kind of thing a guy who refused to miss meaningless games at the end of a season might try to do.