John Wall, Marcin Gortat saw Bradley Beal All-Star potential years ago
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has never been an All-Star. He looked like a legitimate candidate for a spot in the East team last season, but he was not chosen as a starter by fan and player voting, nor by NBA coaches, who select the bench players for each team.
Longtime teammates John Wall and Marcin Gortat spoke about Beal, and said it is time for him to get the recognition he deserves, in the form of his first ever All-Star game appearance. Both spoke to NBC Sports Washington.
Wall, an All-Star player ever since 2013, said:
“I think he deserves it. I think he deserved it last year. I think he got snubbed. Sometimes that happens in this league. I feel like there’s no way he can be snubbed at all.”
Gortat, an 11-year veteran, strongly supports Beal’s case this year:
“It’s about time. He’s proved himself in this league every year. Every year he has taken a huge step towards being an All-Star. This year hands down there is nobody better than him at his position…”
“He’s basically a walking bucket offensively. Defensively, he made an incredible step forward also.”
Beal was drafted third overall by the Wizards in 2012, and Wall knew all along that Beal was destined for big things during his NBA career:
“When I first [saw] Brad playing, I thought he could be an All-Star in this league. It took time. It took time for me to become an All-Star; being healthy and developing my game. I think he’s done that every year.”
Beal’s numbers back up his teammates’ claims. He averages 23.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 45.3 percent shooting from the field and 36.6 percent from three.
As his teammates suggest, Beal has also become more aggressive and well-rounded, averaging a career-high 5.2 free throw attempts per game. Now that we have a clearer picture of what the All-Star fan voting looks like, it looks like it will be hard for Beal to be voted as a starter. But when looking at team reserves, coaches cannot deny Beal deserves a spot on the All-Star team.