Bradley Beal is on an island out there in D.C. Despite insane scoring performances, the Wizards continue to be a team on the outside looking in on the playoffs. Worse still, there is no clear path to a resolution for the team, with John Wall's career in jeopardy and the organization lacking any real, promising young talent.
It sounds obvious to say that most stars in Beal's position would have left ages ago. But, even despite the losing and dysfunction, the young guard is committed to his team, with guys like Kobe and Wade serving as inspiration.
Wanting to have my jersey retired in Washington one day played a factor in me re-signing. Every night we walk into that arena, there’s five names up there. Those are some of the five greatest to ever touch a basketball. To be on pace to breaking the records that I am now and to be here for eight years already, that’s special. And coming into the prime of my career, you don’t know how much longer you have.
For me, I look at Kobe, I look at D-Wade [Dwyane Wade], I look at Dirk [Nowitzki], U.D. [Udonis Haslem], how they can stay in one situation for a long time.
I hate change. If it happens, it happens. But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C.
For me, I am kind of loyal to a fault. I’m kind of like Dame [Damian Lillard] in this realm that it would probably mean so much more to you winning it in Portland or winning it in D.C., because you know you grinding all those years. Then once you eventually come out of that light, I feel like the feeling would be so much grander than necessarily jumping ship. Jumping ship is kind of the easy way out. But at the same time, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win.
Nowadays, the player empowerment movement has launched an age that almost encourages guys to leave when things get tough. Instead of sticking things out and trying to win where you're at, players seem more inclined to leave and team up with other guys to get the job done.
Beal is unlike many in that he is resisting that trend. Like Dirk, Wade, and Kobe, he wants to be "the guy" for his franchise through thick and thin. We'll see how it all ends for him in the end.