The only reason the Wizards don't have a player in the three-point shootout during All-Star weekend is because Bradley Beal rejected an invitation from the league when he didn't make the cut as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the shooting guard told CSNmidatlantic.com on Friday.
"I feel like if I'm going to be part of the weekend, I want to be an All-Star," said Beal, who is averaging a career-high 22 points and shooting 39 percent from three-point range. His teammate Otto Porter shoots an NBA-high 46.3 percent.
"It wasn't easy turning down. I will say that because I did want to do it. I want to be able to earn everything," Beal said.
Porter told CSN that he didn't receive an invite.
Beal came in second place to Marco Belinelli three years ago in the shootout. He didn’t make the All-Star reserves when coaches’ voting was announced. They chose an East roster that’s heavy on point guards with teammate John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker behind starter Kyrie Irving. DeMar DeRozan is the only true two-guard selection.
Instead, Beal, who decided Thursday not to participate, will be using the time to recuperate. If he plays in Saturday's game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans and the next five after that, Beal will have appeared in 51 games going into the break for the Feb. 19 game. He only played in a career-low 55 last season that was marred by a stress reaction in his lower right leg and a minutes restriction.
Beal has avoided a recurrence of a stress reaction in his lower right leg that has plagued him. He is averaging 34.2 minutes per game which is near a career-high, but coach Scott Brooks has managed his down time and practices to preserve him.
Beal sat out one game with an ankle sprain and three because of a hamstring strain earlier in the season but has been durable otherwise as a new medical protocol was put in by the organization to prevent the overuse injury that happened in each of his first four seasons under then-coach Randy Wittman.
"Everything is good. I want to just rest and use the break to my advantage," Beal said. "All-Star is hectic running all over the place. I just want to relax my body. It's precautionary. I'm might go out of town, probably go home (to St. Louis) to see my family."
When Brooks was hired this summer, the Wizards also revamped the medical staff to focus on more preventive measures following an injury-plauged 2015-16.
"We are always in constant communciation with our medical team along with Brad," Brooks said. "The staff has done a great job of monitoring guys' minutes in practice and shootarounds, free practice minutes, the game minutes. That's my job. He's right at 34. That's a good number for him."