CHICAGO -- The Wizards are well-represented at NBA All-Star weekend with Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner in the Rising Stars game, plus Davis Bertans in the three-point contest. But as much as the team has a presence in Chicago, it's hard to overlook who is missing.
That would be Bradley Beal, who missed out on making the All-Star team after being selected in the previous two years. His name was brought up by both Hachimura and Wagner during their media availability on Friday morning.
Hachimura mentioned him briefly, saying he should be in the league MVP conversation. Wagner went into much more depth and didn't beat around the bush when it came to his feelings about Beal being left off the All-Star team.
"It's not weird [that he's not here], it's ridiculous. Obviously, I might be biased because that's my teammate, but I don't think a player can do more," Wagner said. "He's an All-Star in my opinion."
Wagner went on to describe how Beal sets the tone for the rest of the Wizards and especially their young players. Wagner said when playing with Beal, "you have a certain responsibility to compete."
That tied into another takeaway Wagner had from Beal not making it. Beal's 29.1 points-per-game average is the highest ever for a player who didn't make the All-Star team. That begs the question of why he didn't make it, if his exclusion made history.
Wagner wonders if he shares some of the responsibility.
"It's almost like as a teammate, you think it has to be the [team's] record then. You look at yourself like 'man, we should have been better' because he's supposed to be here. That's almost the feeling I got when he didn't get voted or elected," Wagner said.
The Wizards won five of seven games going into the All-Star break, but their 20-33 overall record has them out of the playoff picture. As one of Beal's teammates, Wagner feels bad they couldn't do their part to get him to Chicago.
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