Will Bradley Beal Be Next NBA Superstar to Run Away From Playing With Russell Westbrook?
Beal is in the midst of his best season in Washington but the Wizards are a dismal 3-11
From Kevin Durant to Paul George to James Harden, star point guard Russell Westbrook has played alongside his fair share of superstars since being selected out of UCLA with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
Now a member of the Washington Wizards after being traded by the Rockets during the offseason for John Wall, Westbrook is playing alongside another one of the NBA’s top talents this season, Bradley Beal.
Averaging a league-leading 35.4 points per game after dropping 47 on the Pelicans on Wednesday night, Beal is playing even better than he did last season when he averaged a career-best 30.5 points per game.
But as good as Beal has been, the Wizards have been equally as bad as a team and are now a league-worst 3-11 after losing to New Orleans despite Beal’s 47-point outing.
In fact, thanks to the scoring output in the loss, Beal has become the first player in NBA history to lose 10 games in a row while scoring 40 or more points in each of them.
Beal, who extended his deal with the Wizards for two more years on a $72 million maximum contract in 2019, has scored 30 or more points in nine of the 13 games he has played this season and there really isn’t much more the 27-year-old can do.
“It’s tough,” Beal said. “I am not going to sit here and be naive … We want to win, and I want to win. This is why I stayed. I want to win. I figured this is the place I can get it done … I just hate losing. I hate losing. And I am going to continue to show pissed-off faces. I try to control them as much as I can, but I don’t like losing.”
It is interesting Beal mentioned having a pissed-off face, as he seemed to have one on Tuesday night during a confrontation involving Westbrook that came during a loss to the Rockets and his previous backcourt running mate Wall. During the encounter, it certainly looked as if Beal’s angry face was directed at Westbrook, not Wall.
Now on his third team in three years, Westbrook is starting to get the reputation of being hard to play with and is “bothered” by the notion he’s viewed as a lousy teammate, which gave him more motivation to make things work with Beal.
Up to this point, it really has not worked out between the two players as the Wizards have only won a single game this season when Westbrook has suited up.
“He can pass the hell out of the ball,” Beal said of his new teammate prior to the season. “I feel like there is always a false narrative on Russ. Playing with him for the past week hasn’t been too big of an adjustment. It’s smooth sailing.”
Even if he won’t admit it, it’s hard to imagine Beal still feels that way, and it will be interesting to see if he pulls a Durant, George or Harden to get Westbrook, or himself, dealt out of Washington. If he keeps scoring 40 and losing, it’ll happen sooner than later.
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