Al Harrington wants John Wall and Bradley Beal to be best friends


(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

While Big Threes have long been the talk of the NBA, Washington’s future is clearly built around a two-man operation, at least for now.

“The Wizards’ rising back-court duo have been groomed for big things, and their moment has arrived,” Jason Reid wrote in his latest column about the duo. “Wall will have to create more, and Beal must shoot a lot. Those two elements form the foundation of the Wizards’ best hope for success as they await Nene’s return.”

Veteran Al Harrington was asked about the two guards on ESPN 980 Wednesday afternoon, and his response had nothing to do with creating or shooting.

“I envision them both being all-stars for a lot of years to come,” he said on “Inside the Locker Room.” “My biggest thing I try to push on them is just trying to get them to become best friends. Because they need each other, you know what I mean? And I think that’s the key, is they need to realize how much they need each other and embrace it. And if they can come together and love each other, I think they could be special for a long time.”

Harrington, in fact, is trying to get the entire team to love each other.

“I’m big on everybody being close, because I feel like the more you feel like family, the more you’re willing to go out on a limb for each other,” he went on. “And I think that we do a great job of that. Once a month we have mandatory team dinners where we’ll all just hang out and maybe go to dinner and then go bowling, stuff like that. And I just feel like it just continues to build our relationships off the floor. The trust that we’ll gain off the floor will carry onto the court, and that’s what we’re gonna need.”

Still, when asked how the Wizards will deal with Nene’s absence, Harrington turned to the two guards.

“It’s gonna take a lot of leadership from John,” he said. “We’re gonna need Bradley continue to grow. The bigs are gonna have to continue to play as a unit. If Marc’[in Gortat] can command the paint like he did [Tuesday] night, if he can do that while Nene’s out, I think that’ll definitely be another positive for us. So everybody pretty much has got to step their game up a little bit more, and I think we’ll be fine.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · February 27

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