For Bradley Beal, the past few days have been hard emotionally.
The Wizards organization may have been ready to move on from John Wall — especially replacing him with a healthier and better at this point Russell Westbrook. Wizards fans were ready to move on from a backcourt that had not lived up to the hype and their hopes. But Beal was not entirely with them — he understands why the trade went down, but Beal has never played on an NBA team without Wall on the roster, and they were close.
“It’s been an emotional week,” Beal said Friday in a Zoom call with reporters. “Definitely been some tough 24/48/72 hours here, just kind of letting it all seep in and realizing that your brother is no longer here with you no more…
“I honestly don’t know,” Beal said when asked what it will be like playing without Wall. “My whole career, all I know is John. Today was definitely weird. It’ll be different. It’ll be competitive, I know for sure. He’ll probably try to [put up] 60, but it’ll be love.”
Beal also took to Instagram to express his appreciation for Wall as a friend.
“Wall/Beal hate each other was the biggest amount of BS we endured, but you and I both know the REAL! You are my brother 4L and that bond is way bigger than this game we play!”
Beal also understood the opportunity in front of him playing next to the “walking triple-double” that is Russell Westbrook. He noted that Westbrook is a true point guard and Beal himself is a true two-guard, and together he thinks that will help them mesh.
“I don’t think it will be anything where he will come in and try to run the show and do everything by himself…” Beal said of Westbrook. “Everyone has in their mind that Russ is super aggressive, but I love aggression.”
Scott Brooks has some work to do with getting Westbrook and Beal to fit, along with Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, and just drafted Deni Avdija (who Beal said has “some dog in him”). The pieces of a playoff team are there, if everyone can mesh and stay healthy.
The Wizards travel to Houston to take on Wall and the Rockets — who also have that James Harden guy — on Jan. 26. Wall’s return to Washington D.C. is set for Feb. 15.