Wizards

Beal: Westbrook has already changed culture

Wizards

Early in training camp Wizards second-year forward Rui Hachimura was asked about the addition of nine-time All-NBA and former league MVP Russell Westbrook.

“Russell," said Hachimura, "has changed the energy of the team."

Over the course of camp Westbrook’s fellow backcourt mate and two-time All-Star Bradley Beal seemed to co-sign that sentiment.

“He [Westbrook] has the resume, mentally and physically, he’s gifted," said Beal.

“Just from a professional standpoint our work has been great every day, we haven’t had that I promise you in my nine years being here”.

From the first day Westbrook arrived in town, he’s set a tone of accountability while injecting passionate confidence into his teammates, not afraid to stop a drill to explain what he sees.

Not only correcting rookie, but even a seasoned veteran like Beal on being aggressive and not passing up shots. Which is music to Brad’s ears.

"It's a natural carryover, it’s like contagious a lot of time," Beal said. "He forces that out of you, and that’s what I love for me, because I don’t have to be the vocal one all the time."

 

Beal said it’s good to have a new voice, crediting Westbrook as a positive guy who wants the best out of his teammates and has the credentials to boot.

Now one aspect of the team to monitor is the young players adapting to competing alongside Westbrook and Beal and not just standing around at times watching these dynamic players takeover games.

"We’re trying to nip that in the bud in camp," Beal said. "I’m telling guys to be aggressive, take that shot. I might yell at you, Russ might yell at you if it’s a bad shot. But at the end of the day, we want the best shot for the team every single time."

Stay tuned to NBC Sports Washington for more from Chris Miller's conversation with Bradley Beal. And tune into NBC Sports Washington Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday this week to see Miller welcome back the Wizards season.