Paul Pierce did not make a tremendous impact with the Wizards in the 2014-15 regular season, but he certainly did in the playoffs, and his presence was not lost on Washington guard Bradley Beal. Now headed home to play for the Clippers, Pierce is no longer in the picture for the Wizards, and while Beal will miss the former Celtic, the Wizards are ready to move on too.
"It's unfortunate Paul left," Beal told CSN's Chris Miller. "We understand his situation."
Beal continued: "We wish him nothing but the best, it was cool to play with a future Hall of Famer."
Then the tone changed, slightly, and Beal made clear his focus is on the Wizards winning in 2015.
"He's the enemy now," Beal said of Pierce.
The Wizards have brought in help on the wing with Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson in addition to drafting Kelly Oubre. More will also be expected of Beal and backcourt mate John Wall, a task Beal seems ready for.
"We have to step up," Beal said. "We can do it."
One topic sure to build attention and momentum are upcoming contract negotiations for Beal. The fourth-year guard out of Florida seems to have things in perspective, saying that the money stuff is between the team and his agent. Beal promises to play hard regardless of contract talks.
Full video above.