Wizards

Beal doesn't think Russell Westbrook will 'try to run the show'

Wizards

Whether deserved or not, Russell Westbrook carries with him to Washington a reputation as a dominant personality on the floor, as a player who needs the ball in his hands to be effective and prefers to shoot rather than pass. This is ironically despite the fact he has averaged 9.7 assists the past six seasons, four times averaging double-digits in the category and twice leading the entire NBA.

Still, the idea he is a ball hog persists and Bradley Beal seemed acutely aware of that perception on Friday when addressing the blockbuster trade that brought Westbrook to the Wizards. Beal doesn't really buy into the supposed baggage Westbrook brings.

"I think on the court, we’ll be good, man," Beal said. "I don’t think it will be anything where he will come in and try to run the show and do everything by himself."

Beal said in a variety of ways he doesn't think it will be a problem playing alongside Westbrook, who last year ranked fifth in the league in usage rate (34.4). He was actually tied with Beal in the stat. Both players also ranked top-10 in field goal attempts.

There is, as they say, only one basketball.

"For me to sit here and say he can’t make things work with other guys, well I can sit here and say I’m not other guys, either," Beal said. "Their games aren’t like my game. I’m very adaptable. I adjust to who’s with me, who I’m playing with, new guys we add. My job is to make his job easier."

 

That was a point Beal continued to go back to. He's not planning to get in the way of Westbrook's game and he doesn't expect Westbrook to do that to him, either. In fact, he has no problem viewing himself as an understudy of sorts, with Westbrook's resume as a nine-time All-NBA selection and former MVP speaking for itself.

"I’ll feed off of [his game], too. I think I have a lot to learn from him. He’s a lot older than me, he’s an MVP, he’s been there," Beal said.

It is hard to argue with Beal's approach. Whether it will work as he envisions it, only time will tell.