LOS ANGELES – Bradley Beal was selected to participate in the Rising Stars challenge during all-star weekend in New Orleans, but the second-year shooting guard wasn’t certain if he would actually participate in the game, given his current minute limitation while recovering from a stress injury in his right leg.
“That’s something I haven’t decided yet,” Beal said. “I got to talk to the trainers and doctors and we’ll have to see. I definitely would love to play in it, but if it’s for my own benefit [to sit], we’ll see.”
Coach Randy Wittman said decisions about the game and Beal’s current playing time restriction will likely been made when the Wizards return home from their four-game road trip.
“We haven’t talked about it,” Wittman said. “Obviously, when we get back, we’re always evaluating where he’s at, in terms of, those minutes and how he’s feeling and we’ll have a chance when we get back after this game and sit down with the doctor and we’ll get his read on it.”
But Wittman added that Beal could soon be removed from the 30-minute limit he has been playing with since he returned from a three-week absence Dec. 16. Beal hasn’t had any complications from the injury and scored 20 points in each of the final two games of the trip.
“I’m anticipating that, if we can stay on a good healthy regimen with him, those restrictions can be lifted,” Wittman said. “We’ve got to do what’s best for him, but if he’s doing fine moving forward…you know, these are opportunities for young guys that are experiences that you can really learn a lot from. And we’ll talk about that moving forward.”
The showcase of the NBA’s 18 best rookies and second-year players will be Feb. 14. Beal is averaging 17 points, which ranks third among second-year players behind Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis. He is also contributing 3.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a steals. When told of the selection, Wittman said, “He better had been.”
Beal was excited about being named as a participant in the game for the second year in a row. He scored 12 points in 22 minutes while helping Team Chuck defeat Team Shaq, 163-135, last year in Houston.
“It’s a blessing and an honor to be a part of it,’ Beal said. “To be one of the very few to be in it for a second year in a row. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, I’ll be in the big game in years to come, but it’s one step at a time and as long as I continue to play hard and show myself, good things will continue to happen.”