This summer, Bradley Beal made a commitment to the city of Washington D.C. and the Wizards, signing a five-year supermax contract extension to remain with the Wizards. Now he’s setting his sights on a new commitment: Winning in Washington.
Speaking at Wizards Media Day on Friday, Brad proclaimed that with all he has accomplished individually in his career, he has a chip on his shoulder that team success has not followed. This season he’s looking to change that.
“I’ve shown I can score with the best of them, I’ve shown I can be an All-Star, I’ve shown I can be an All-NBA player. I’ve checked every box. Now I have to win and be a winner. That’s my final box that I want to check and will check,” he said. “My main focus is winning games and trying to help this organization hold up a Larry [O’Brien trophy] one day. That’s my goal. That’s my goal, that’s my dream.”
The Wizards have made the postseason just once in the last four seasons, two seasons ago when they won a play-in game to qualify for the first round and then were ousted by the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers. Washington also hasn’t had a winning record the last four seasons and hasn’t advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2017. Those results have left the three-time All-Star and 2021 All-NBA Third Team selection feeling unfulfilled and ready to put his best foot forward now that he’s fully healthy after an injury-plagued 2021-22 campaign.
Beal has arguably his best supporting cast in D.C. since that 2016-17 playoff run. They made a trade late last season to add “unicorn” big man Kristaps Porzingis, and swingman Kyle Kuzma is coming off a strong first season with the Wizards last year. Add in offseason additions Will Barton, Monte Morris, Taj Gibson and Delon Wright as well as some expected leaps from several young players on the Washington roster, and you have a recipe for success. However, Brad knows that the Wizards will only go as far as he takes them, and he’s ready to shoulder that and push Washington to new heights.
“Win, lose or draw; it will be my fault. It sure will. I’m okay with that. I’ve learned to accept that, I’m confident in that,” Beal said. “I’d rather you guys blame me than blame anybody in that locker room. I’m at that point in my career, I’ve always been that way. It’s accepting that and, to me, it doesn’t bother me. It just doesn’t.”
The Wizards begin their preseason with a trip over to Japan where they will play two games against the Golden State Warriors. The regular season begins October 19 when they take on the Pacers in Indiana.