Bradley Beal’s 1 question to Damian Lillard in 2019 drew NBA-changing response
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal reached out to Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in 2019, asking him a question to better understand Lillard’s mindset a bit more. Having played his entire career with the Wizards, Beal sought advice from Lillard, another superstar guard who has a similar playing style as himself and who has stuck with the same team his entire career.
The question Beal asked Lillard, per Fred Katz and Jason Quick of The Athletic, was a simple one:
“Why did you stick through it?”
Lillard’s answer clearly stuck out to Beal:
As they talked, they discovered they were drawn to the community of a city more than the nightlife or weather. They found they valued building something rather than instant gratification. And loyalty was more than just a word, it was feeling.
Beal and Lillard have both received criticism for sticking with their respective teams, but neither of them seem to have much interest in moving on and trying to form a superteam elsewhere. Lillard addressed this shared mindset:
“He was another guy where people were like, ‘He has to get out of Washington, and he has to do this and he has to do that …’ and I have people say that about me all the time,” Lillard said. “And I think we share that same mentality, where it’s like … No. It’s nothing against people who decide to team up and all that stuff. It’s just, this is the route we choose. This is the route we want to go. This is what means something to us. And I think we connect on that.’’
It’s rare to see NBA players these days stay loyal to the team that drafted them. It used to be much more common back in the day, but once the NBA allowed free agency, the term “loyalty” has been lost. Both Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard are superstars in the NBA, and they’re hoping one day they can win championships with their current teams.