Antawn Jamison: Beal needs to stop overthinking


The calendar year 2022 has not been kind to the Washington Wizards. After starting the season off 10-3, Washington has lost seven of their last eight contests and sit at 24-28 on the year, dropping them to 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

Star guard Bradley Beal has been the workhorse of the Wizards’ offense for several years now. This season’s slump might be one reason why Beal hasn’t displayed the same fire he has in years past, at least according to one franchise legend.

“Right now, I’m looking at a Bradley Beal that’s not having fun,” Antawn Jamison told Chris Miller on the Off the Bench podcast. “No smile on the faces, no making a shot [with] a yell or just the passion, and right now just overthinking things. Bradley Beal needs to go out there and just enjoy the game, put a smile on his face and just have fun.”

Jamison spent six of the best seasons of his 16-year pro career in Washington, becoming a fan favorite and one of the team’s most consistent forwards. Now, he serves as the Wizards’ Director of Pro Personnel, a position he’s held since 2019. 

All the drama leading up to the NBA trade deadline and Beal’s future could be a reason why things in D.C. seem so hectic right now. Still, that shouldn’t affect Beal’s on-court production.

“It’s a lot of expectations. The whole name being mentioned around the league, he’s accustomed to that because, from my understanding, for the last four years his name has been mentioned around this time every year,” Jamison said.


Will the Wizards’ franchise centerpiece be on the move this year? Or will he wait until the offseason then choose to be dealt? Jamison believes Beal is staying right where he is.

“We love Brad," Jamison said. "I don’t think Brad’s going anywhere. I mean, he loves D.C. as well. I think sometimes, and I can attest to this, it can be frustrating. He’s at that particular stage in his career—he wants to win a championship, and I know that’s very important to him and I know he has a passion for that as well.”

Jamison would go on to say that the Wizards are an organization ‘that would do any and everything’ for Beal in order to keep him around and happy. Washington has Beal’s back and believes in him, the former forward added, but hitting the court and having fun should be Beal’s only concern at the moment.

Beal’s situation in Washington is interesting. The team has been consistent with its message that they want to keep him and build around him, hence the focus on adding depth to the roster in several mock trades. Beal has reason to stick around, too, given that the Wizards can offer him the biggest contract in NBA history once the 2021-22 season concludes.

“Veteran leadership has to come out,” for Washington to scrape its way into a playoff spot, Antawn Jamison said. Beal is that leadership, and he will surely be the cornerstone of any late-season push the Wizards might make this season.