Outside of the players and coaches of the Washington Wizards organization, did anyone really know about how bad of a relationship the backcourt tandem of the Wiz’s John Wall and Bradley Beal was? Sure tension always arises among teammates during an arduous 82 game season, but after stories and interviews between the two were posted, a trade might eventually become imminent — especially if the talented Wizards miss the playoffs again this coming season.
Wall and Beal both provided their opinions on the situation, but things have become so frosty with the two that they have been separated by teammates in the past and rarely speak outside of basketball.
Via CSN – Mid Atlantic:
The high temperatures outside the arena at Las Vegas summer league, where John Wall sat courtside to watch the Wizards play, were punishing.
Bradley Beal walked in with his girlfriend, fresh off agreeing to $128 million max contract, and when he sat down there was a gulf of unfilled chairs between the two.
The two self-described “cornerstones” of the Wizards couldn’t have been farther away from each other.
Then Wall and Beal would both mention their reasons for their tenuous relationship.
“I think a lot of times we have a tendency to dislike each other on the court. … We got to be able to put that to the side. If you miss somebody on one play or don’t have something go right … as long as you come to each other and talk. If I starting arguing with somebody I’m cool. I’m just playing basketball,”
“Now that you have your money you got to go out there and improve your game. I want you to be an All-Star just as much as I’m an All-Star. If we were playing well as a tandem like the other two superstars that play together as a backcourt, play as a tandem, one night it’s going to be his night, one night it’s going to be mine, some nights it might be both of us. Those are nights it’s going to be tough to beat us.”
“It’s tough because we’re both alphas. It’s always tough when you have two guys who firmly believe in themselves, who will bet on themselves against anybody else, who want to be that guy. We both can be that guy,” Beal said.
But after each playing with each other for several years now — in addition to blowups between the two — can they coexist in a successful environment?
Since the backcourt has played together for four years, there’s a tendency to asume that they’re best friends. But they don’t spend much time together outside of Verizon Center and they have had to be separated on more than one occassion after blowups.
Last season, Alan Anderson made peace after preseason game when Beal was upset. Two seasons ago it was Garrett Temple, Beal’s best friend on the team who now is with the Sacramento Kings, to restrain him. Both veterans are gone after free agency this summer.
In a 41-41 season that had the Wizards out of the playoffs, Wall concluded the overall bickering amongst teammates was as much of a problem as the injuries.
Other stories involving number of shots, body language towards each other — specifically during a time when Beal was on the court injured and Wall just walked the other way while teammates rushed to his aid — are other examples that the two might not be able to play together.
If new coach Scott Brooks can’t get the Wizards to maximize their talent because of the friction between both players, you would think that one of them would have to be traded. Based off pure speculation, you would think that would have to be the injury-prone, yet talented Bradley Beal.
I doubt the Washington brass wants to go that route, but if they had to, they surely would have no shortage of suitors for the market of Beal — or Wall.
However, it’s much too early to really talk about teams that would be interested in trading for either player as the 2016-17 season is still months away. Plus, the Wiz will certainly exhaust every possibility before pulling the trigger on such a trade.