At the very end of his 10-minute press conference on Wednesday night following the Wizards' loss to the Pelicans, Bradley Beal was asked a very simple question for which he had a very simple answer.
The reporter asked him: "Are you frustrated?"
Beal responded: "Is the sky blue?"
Beal's tone wasn't condescending, either. He just felt it should be obvious now that his team is 3-11 following three straight losses which featured the Wizards' three lowest scoring totals of the season so far. Beal had 47 points against New Orleans, yet that wasn't enough. They still lost.
And this, of course, is all a bit familiar for Beal. Disappointing losses that squander big scoring nights from him have been a trademark for this team in recent years. He now holds an NBA record after losing a 10th straight game in which he scored 40 points or more.
Beal's frustration level is often a topic of discussion by fans and media around the league. In an era where star movement is the expectation, many wonder if he will be next to pack his bags. Beal has continued to throw water on that speculation and sort of did so again on Wednesday night.
"It's tough because we want to win and I want to win. This is why I stayed, I want to win. I figure this is the place I can get it done," Beal said, referring to the contract extension he signed in October of 2019.
Beal wants to win and do it in Washington. Until that changes, the trade rumors and Photoshopped images of him in Heat and Lakers jerseys will all be for naught.
Beal has never indicated publicly or privately that is patience is running out. He's just consistently mad about the results and defiantly motivated to change them.
That energy sometimes translates to moments caught on camera that people screenshot and turn into memes. It happened again on Tuesday night after the Wizards' loss to the Rockets. He had his head down and his hands on his forehead, as if he were praying for more wins.
Beal knows the cameras are always watching and feels he needs to work on his body language in those moments.
"I've gotta be better with that," Beal said. "The media is going to blow it up and rightfully so. I'm mad about losing. If I'm sitting over there laughing and smiling, what is the media going to say then? 'Oh, he doesn't take it serious. I just hate losing. I hate losing. I'm going to continue to show pissed off faces. I'll try to control it as much as I can."
Beal still has two years left on his contract with the Wizards, the last one being a player option. He's 27 years old and in the middle of the prime of his career, which no player ever wants to waste playing for a last-place team.
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But Beal has committed to building a winner in Washington and their struggles so far this year have been complicated. For one, they have had to deal with a rampant outbreak of the coronavirus, which has caused them to miss six players in the past three games, most of them key members of the rotation. There have also been injuries to guys like Russell Westbrook and Thomas Bryant, who was lost for the season.
It has been a rocky start, no question. But Beal is determined to figure it out. Exactly how to do that, he's not entirely sure at the moment.
"I swear if I had that answer, I would be a genius probably. I think if we all had that answer, we all would be blurting it out. But I don't have that answer," he said.