The Washington Wizards aren't usually a team that generates a ton of excitement. Despite some of the great players they've had over the years, the Wizards don't have much to show for their existence over the past 50+ years.
Still, their young star (Bradley Beal) remains loyal to them and has so far resisted the urge to jump ship and join greener pastures.
In fact, Beal has shown a lot of optimism about the future in D.C. and seems to be committed to helping change the narrative and culture of the franchise.
Beal says he has shared his vision with other star players around the league about how they could fit in Washington next to him. He raves about the “freshness” of the team, with a new coach, a new system, and plenty of improving young players. Though selling Washington as most stars look to more glamorous markets has its challenges.
“A lot of people seem to think D.C. is a small market, but I try to tell them it’s a big market,” Beal says. “It makes that part of recruiting tougher.”
Needless to say, D.C. will never be on par with New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. But if Beal can help build a solid foundation in the nation's capital, it could go a long way in flipping the perception of the organization.
D.C. is a fairly big market, but even when the team was good, sellouts were a rarity. In 2010, team owner Ted Leonsis said he’d do the “dougie” if the Wizards had a sellout. In 2021, perhaps he’d do the milk crate challenge to fill seats. Beal, however, sees the potential. “We’re just missing the wins,” Beal says. “D.C. just needs to be talked about again.”
Last season, the Wizards got eliminated in round 1 of the postseason, marking yet another season of failure.
But with a new coach and plenty of new and exciting players (that includes Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie), there is plenty of reason to feel good about the direction they're going.
Clearly, Bradley Beal does.