Beal and his wife, Kamiah Adams, became parents last year when Bradley Emmanuel Beal II arrived on July 23, 2018. It’s just another new role for Beal, another challenge he’s ready to accept. NBA MOCK DRAFT: Full first-round breakdown”It’s kind of weird I’m only 25, and yet everybody looks at me as a vet that’s been in the league for a long time,” Beal told Sporting News. “I just embrace where I am, embrace being in this organization for seven years and being one of the longest tenured guys here.”Beal has shouldered the responsibility, but the 2018-19 season certainly wasn’t supposed to go this way for the Wizards. Action at the trade deadline left the team with only four returning players from the previous season. Washington has also struggled with injuries, including the loss of Wall, who had to undergo season-ending heel surgery in January. Wall then suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon after falling in his home, which will likely keep him off the floor for the majority of the 2019-20 campaign.”I feel like I’ve been on three or four different teams in one year, but it’s been good. All I can do is embrace it,” Beal said. “I’m always a big guy — if when one man goes down, the next man’s up. We all have to step up and contribute a lot more than what we have been before.”The two-time All-Star, who typically worked away from the ball with Wall handling point guard responsibilities, was forced to shift his game midseason. He had to balance his scoring and distributing like never before. But Beal didn’t complain. He welcomed the situation and saw it as his personal “next man up” opportunity, but he knew it was going to be a growth process. At first, Beal struggled to get in rhythm without Wall. Even when he did feel more comfortable, his production didn’t consistently yield wins.”It’s not perfect, and I’d be lying if I said it was an easy task,” Beal said. “It’s definitely tough to be able to create and get your teammates involved… especially when you’re the focal point of everybody’s defense. But I embrace it, and it’s constantly making me into the player I am today.”Beal is Washington’s top scorer (25.9 points per game) and assist man (career-high 5.6 per game). The St. Louis native has put together a number of notable performances, but his two 40-plus-point, 15-assist games against the Raptors and Suns showed how far Beal has come in his career.”He’s improved every phase of the game, and even off the court just being the leader and understanding what it takes to build guys up or maybe tell guys what they need to hear,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “With Brad, players listen to him because [of] the way he comes across and the way that he puts his time in on the court.”Wall’s replacement in the starting lineup, guard Tomas Satoransky, was drafted the same year as Beal but played overseas before joining the team in 2016. The Czech native has been right in the thick of the team’s transformation, and he’s noticed how Beal has adapted without Wall by his side.”He really stepped up in his leadership not only on the court, but off the court. He’s leading us every night,” Satoransky told Sporting News. “He’s out there every night not only scoring, but leading the team in assists [and] rebounds.”The Wizards aren’t officially eliminated from the playoff contention yet, but that day will be coming soon. Still, Beal, the NBA’s leader in minutes per game (37.6), has plenty of reasons to keep playing — a few million, actually. If Beal makes an All-NBA team, he will be eligible for a four-year, $194 million max extension this summer. Missing out on All-NBA drops that potential offer to $111 million over three years. If you ask Beal, there’s no doubt about his status in the league.Bradley Beal asked all those in the media to say “I” if he should be All-NBA 😂 pic.twitter.com/4v3fUHbr53— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) March 17, 2019MORE: Beal says he tried recruiting players during All-Star weekendFinancial situation aside, Beal is focused on mastering his skill set. What came as a surprise this season will become the standard going forward.”I’m big on always getting better, even my jump shot as good as it can be, it can always be better,” Beal said. “My game is going to continue to excel and excel. I definitely still have a long way to go, [and] it’s definitely fun. I embrace it.”Basketball will always be one of Beal’s true passions, but there are more than wins and losses driving him now. It’s his family that really gives him the extra push to be the best version of himself. View this post on Instagram On June 28, 2012, Bradley Beal was celebrating his 19th birthday at the NBA Draft. He was selected No. 3 overall by the Wizards, a team that was very much in the rebuilding stages and needed a shooting guard that could work hand-and-hand with rising star John Wall, who had been drafted two years before.Fast forward almost seven full seasons later, and despite being just 25 years old and still developing as a player, Beal has evolved into one of the key leaders on the Wizards roster — if not the main leader both on and off the floor. What’s your why?A post shared by Bradley Beal (@bradbeal3) on Mar 4, 2019 at 9:37am PST”My wife and my son, the two alone, that’s my backbone,” Beal said. “That’s my family. That’s just pure motivation for me just seeing him every day, seeing his growth. It’s still surreal being a father, and I’m just stepping into the role, and I think all of that tied into basketball is just making my life easier, honestly.””I’m in a great place. A place of peace, a great mindset, and everything’s enjoyable.”
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