Wizards rookie Bradley Beal has a lot to learn if he hopes to cultivate fans in D.C.
Following Wednesdays practice at Verizon Center the 19-year-old rookie was seen leaving the arena holding a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.
Asked if he was serious about wearing the hat in public, what with the Cardinals and Nationals facing each other in the NLDS, Beal smiled.
I havent gotten any negative things said to me, he said. I guess Ill keep wearing it until I do. I was thinking about going to Game 3 today, but we had practice at the same time.
When Beal was told the Cardinals already had a 5-0 lead en route to an 8-0 win he quipped, Its over.
Beal, it should be pointed out, is from St. Louis and attended Chaminade College Prep. He will make his Verizon Center debut Thursday night when the Wizards face the New York Knicks in their only home preseason game.
Hes understanding the rigors, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of the No. 3 pick in the 2012 draft. Theyre at a point when theyre sore and beat up a little bit.
But New Yorks coming in tomorrow and theyre going to come after you. Its a step.
Theres a whole process of learning. The quickness, the speed. The days and the games just keep coming. Theres no rest now and thats the biggest thing from college. You might play one or two games a week and when we get going here its a splurge.
Beal, who scored 18 points in his preseason debut in Charlotte, said he was surprised at the offensive prowess of the Hornets Ben Gordon in Sundays preseason game. He said hes ready for opponents trying to exploit the fact hes a rookie.
I think its more physical. Its hardly ever verbal, he said. When you play someone like
Kevin Garnett, hes going to say something. Its more mental than physical because they can get in your head without even saying anything. Just based off how they play you, how smart they are.
Gordon always shot fakes first, and he go around you or hell get you in the air and draw a foul, he said. But the thing is, he jumps high on his jump shot. He even blocked one of my shots. Hes a sneaky athlete. I mean, hes smart. After watching film on him, next time, Ill try to get the best of him.