One season after he started the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and received the seventh-most fan votes among all NBA players, Bradley Beal had a poor showing in the first round of fan voting for the 2022 All-Star Game, which was released this week. He did not appear among the top-10 guards in the Eastern Conference and was absent among the 40 total players listed between both conferences.
Though by this measure Beal was one of the most popular players in the league a year ago, his current situation is a familiar one. Beal was ninth among Eastern Conference guards for the 2019-20 season and wasn't selected as a reserve.
At this point, Beal isn't surprised.
"Yeah, I've seen it. You know me, it's the same every year or every other year. I control what I can control, I don't control the fan voting or anyone that votes for that matter," he said on Friday night.
Last year may prove to be the aberration. For one season, Beal was a huge favorite in All-Star voting. As for why things have reverted back this season, perhaps it doesn't help his numbers are down after a slow start.
While Beal is surging lately, averaging 28.0 points on 51.2% shooting and 7.1 assists over his last 12 games, his stat-line remains dragged down by how he played in the beginning of the year. He is averaging 24.1 points, his lowest since 2017-18, while shooting 29.3% from three, the lowest clip of his career.
Another reason could be the departure of Russell Westbrook, who brought more national attention to the team. But the Wizards have a markedly better record at this point (19-20) than they did last year (14-25), which should help Beal's cause.
If Beal continues to play like he has lately, he should increase his chances of becoming an All-Star, whether that is as a starter through fan voting (which accounts for half of all votes) or as one of the reserves, which are voted on by NBA head coaches. Beal has made the All-Star team three times in his career, twice as a reserve.
Surely, Beal would like to be an All-Star again, but he's not overly concerned about it and is not going to get into comparing himself to others in the running.
"Guys who get in are always deserving of it. I'm never a hater, I'm never in that lane. Everybody is more than deserving of it. It is what it is, I don't trip off it. I control what I can control and go hoop," he said.