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Russell Westbrook’s long-term influence on Bradley Beal and Wizards, revealed

Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Wizards

Russell Westbrook may not be a part of the Washington Wizards now, but the now-Los Angeles Laker has left a lasting impact on Bradley Beal and his old team.

Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard said that Westbrook has influenced Beal to be a better leader. According to him, the former’s departure forced the latter to step up into a more vocal leader role. Per NBC Washington:

“I see more and more of him [Beal] pulling guys aside quietly and giving them points. He’s never going to be this loud, rah-rah screaming guy. But when he does speak up, everybody listens for sure. I just see that continued growth in him. I attribute most of it to he sees what’s needed and he takes care of it.”

“Russell was a very vocal guy. Russell’s not here anymore [in Washington], so I think Bradley adjusted a little to the room and said ‘hey, I need to speak up a little bit more often than I did.’ He’s done that.”

Westbrook’s leadership has always been an underrated part of his career. He developed into a vocal and fiery leader when Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City, and he carried that over to the Wizards when he was traded there. Now, that leadership rubbed off on Beal, and the Wizards All-Star is ready to be the guy to lead Washington back to the Playoffs.

It will be interesting to see how Westbrook’s leadership will mesh with LeBron James with the Lakers. Nonetheless, Wizards fans are greatful for Russell Westbrook’s gift of leadership to Bradley Beal.