Wizards

Wizards

WASHINGTON -- More than 48 hours had passed when Wizards guard Bradley Beal stood in front of reporters for the first time since he was not named an NBA All-Star reserve, a piece of news that had clearly upset him, as evidenced by his decision to not speak after the team's game on Thursday, the night it was announced.

After the dust had settled and the Wizards had pulled off an impressive win over the Nets on Saturday, he spoke tersely on the matter, as if it still bothered him to a degree. But he also explained how his perspective has changed over the previous two days.

"It doesn't make me or break me. It doesn't define me as a player," he said. "The one thing I won't do is disrespect anybody that made it. Everybody that made it is deserving of it. I'm past it."

As for whether Beal would draw motivation from not making the All-Star team, he said that he won't.

"Zero. I would never let another man alter my play or alter my head, mindset or anything," he said.

Beal, 26, was left off the Eastern Conference squad despite averaging over 28 points per game, the first player to hold that claim since the 1984-85 season. After 34 points against Brooklyn, his scoring average is now up to 28.8. 

Beal feels like he should be an All-Star for the third straight year, and many others agree. There was a strong backlash to the decision from his teammates and others around the league, including TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal.

 

Beal said it was nice to have that support.

"I was appreciative of it. At the end of the day, I'm not about to sit here with this sad cloud over my head like why I should be in. All of my peers come up to me after every game and say it. Coaches say it," Beal said. "I just wish we had this same mindset three or four years ago when I got snubbed and we had the fourth seed."

Beal has now scored 30 points or more in six games. He's looking every bit the part of an All-Star, just not officially.

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