The Wizards brought Beal to Washington because of his ability to shoot from long distance and score, but he also showed in the summer league that he is capable of creating scoring opportunities for others. Wittman won’t ask Beal to worry about anything more than his duties as a shooting guard and will likely go with Jordan Crawford as the starter when the season begins.
“Nobody needs to be anything more than they are. This team wasn’t built solely based on one player to carry us,” Wittman said. “We just got to worry about Bradley being Bradley; being a rookie coming into this situation, seeing how much he can handle before we get into deciding to thrust somebody further along than we need to be.”
Beal said he is willing to compete for playing time and would accept any role Wittman gives him. “Just because I’m the No. 3 pick doesn’t make me any different than any other member of the team. That’s how I view myself. But added pressures, I don’t have any,” Beal said. “It’s more motivation, honestly. I just try to motivate myself to be able to always want to get better and always want to be who I am, like Coach Witt wants me to be. I’m just trying to stay within myself and the team concept.”
Lee was certain that Beal wouldn’t have any problems adjusting to his latest challenge — “Bradley has been on the stage all the time. He welcomes that big stage,” he said — and credited Beal’s family and faith for keeping him level-headed. In high school, Beal would read the Bible before games and scribble verses on his sneakers for motivation. Beal said he chose to wear the No. 3 in the NBA party because it’s “somewhat biblical.”
Other than Nene refusing to call him by name and veteran Martell Webster asking him to carry his iPad, Beal has yet to deal with any sort of rookie hazing. And Wall said he didn’t have to pass along much advice to Beal because already “he’s so mature.”
“I’m impressed with his poise,” veteran point guard Jannero Pargo said after watching Beal in practice for the first time. “I think a lot of rookies come in and they press and try too hard. It seemed like he took his time and went hard when it was time to go hard and he looked pretty good.”
Beal did have one slip-up, though. When the Wizards ran some non-contact drills, he slipped while running a curl and fell to the ground. He quickly got back up and laughed about it later.
“I tripped over the line,” Beal explained with smile and moved right along, ready to get back to work.