“I think a lot of times we have a tendency to dislike each other on the court.” That’s Washington point guard John Wall, talking to CSN’s Chris Miller about Bradley Beal, whom the Wizards signed to a five-year, $128 million contract this past July. Great! It’s great when sports teammates loathe each other, uh, in the place where they play sports together for a living.
“It’s tough because we’re both alphas,” says Beal, who has missed an average of 20 games per season in his career and whom ESPN’s proprietary Real Plus-Minus rated as the 60th best shooting guard in the NBA last season, about how he doesn’t get along with the better and more experienced two-time All-Star who now makes less money than him. “It’s always tough when you have two guys who firmly believe in themselves, who will bet on themselves against anybody else, who want to be that guy. We both can be that guy.” Who else is excited for the upcoming NBA season? I know I sure am.
The Wizards were a big reeking disappointment last season; after two consecutive runs into the second round of the East playoffs, they missed the playoffs altogether and (finally) fired coach Randy Wittman. Their much-hyped multi-year campaign to sign Kevin Durant in free-agency yielded a four-year, $64 million contract for Ian Mahinmi. Now their two highest-paid players are giving interviews about how much they despise each other, whole entire months before the start of the season. I think this is all going really well and am feeling super glad to be a Wizards fan.
“Now that you have your money you got to go out there and improve your game,” Wall—who definitely is not mad online at all but actually thinks this is funny—says, about a guy on his own team who is not very good but whose contract likely will keep him taking 20 shots per game in Washington until Wall is 30 years old. “I want you to be an All-Star just as much as I’m an All-Star.” This definitely is the truth, and not at all Wall’s way of reminding Beal that he is not an All-Star, even though he now makes more money than his team’s only All-Star.
“He’s my sidekick,” Wall said to Miller, about Bradley Beal, a person he does not like who is his teammate, but who totally will appreciate being called a sidekick. “I’m A. He’s A-1.”
The Washington Wizards will win the 2017 NBA Finals.