The Wizards drafted the 6-foot-4 Beal because they believe he can be a consistent perimeter option with his textbook shooting form, and a solid back-court mate for the sometimes fiery John Wall.
Wall knew Beal before the draft and was optimistic Beal would be around when the Wizards’ pick came. Wall offered his barber to Beal via Twitter when Beal requested a haircut before leaving for Las Vegas. Beal eventually settled on a barber that teammate Shelvin Mack suggested, but Wall said he hopes to offer support in any way he can.
“I know everybody is expecting a lot, just like they expected from me. Mines was way more,” Wall said. “I just want him to come in and play confident. I think he’s a humble person and he’s not letting none of that get to him. And he just wants to work and get better. And that’s the main thing coming into this league. As long as you have the work ethic, you’ll be all right. But if you come in and think you’re bigger and better than anything, it’s going to be tough.”
Beal has already tried simply to blend in with his teammates in Las Vegas and has quickly connected with Mack, a second-year point guard who has taken Beal under his wing. Beal certainly has goals for the upcoming season but said he would try not to focus on his own expectations.
“If I’m not doing what I want to do, I’ll try to force the issue. I really just want to do what Coach tells me to do and that’s being a good leader on the floor and a great teammate. So I’m really just learning,” Beal said. “I know what the Wizards expect of me, and anybody else’s expectations of what I should be or should do, it’s not even important — including my family. It’s really what the coach wants to do and little bit of my own expectations to play hard and contribute to the best of my abilities.”
Beal, the middle of five brothers, will have Brandon and Bruce join him in Washington to help him adjust to life in the NBA. He also expects them to offer support and keep him grounded as he steps into a glitzy professional sports world.
“I hear stories all the time about what happens, but I can’t lose sight of what’s important to me, what I love the most and what I’m here for and what got me here,” Beal said. “All the outside stuff is really secondary.”