Nearly one year ago, Bradley Beal was selected as the third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Since that memorable day in late June, Beal has experienced many of the highs and lows that the league has to offer. From hooping with President Obama on Easter and hitting his stride in the month of February, averaging 17.5 points per game on 48 percent shooting to suffering a season-ending stress injury in his right fibula. Then, there was those misconstrued remarks about Derrick Rose's inability to return from his torn ACL. All in all, it was a learning experience for the 19-year-old Beal, which will come in handy for whomever the Wizards select with the third pick in the upcoming 2013 draft.
Before this year's draft lottery in New York, we linked up with Beal to discuss his first year in the league, what words of advice he has for the upcoming draft class, his relationship with teammate John Wall, and setting the record straight on the D-Rose comment.
Interview by Jose Martinez (@ZayMarty)
How's the stress injury coming along? Last we heard, they haven't cleared you to play just yet?
Yeah, it's slowly coming along. Hopefully, within the next couple days or week, I'll be cleared to play.
Speaking of injuries, there was a whole thing about the comments you made about Derrick Rose and his recovery…
What was the overall reaction to what you said?
[John Wall] can't leave. He's my point guard and he's like a big brother off the court.
My words were taken way out of context. I'm definitely not that type of guy. He's the MVP and one of the best point guards in the league, so who am I, a rookie, to call him out? It's not even in my character. What I wanted people to digest is that I feel for him. I know how it feels to have to be mentally strong and be able to come back while still playing through the injury. There's always the risk of re-injuring and not being the same. I went through that several times this year. The point I wanted to get across was don't come back until you're 100 percent ready to play, but it was blown way out of proportion.
So, basically, you were speaking from your own point-of-view and not taking a shot at Rose?
Yeah. I've never experienced that before. I can't say that he should do this or this because I'm not inside his head, I'm not him and I'm not even his teammate.
As for teammates, have your spoken with John Wall recently, especially since he's going through his contract extension talks these days?
I've hit him a couple times, telling him things, like "he can't leave." He's my point guard and he's like a big brother off the court. He's definitely someone I want the team to keep around for years to come, so we can see how well we can grow together.
You say he's like a big brother to you, when did that all come about?
I knew John since high school. He's watched me since I was at [the University of] Florida, giving me tips here and there. He's always been supportive of me and now, he has taken me under his wing. Actually, he was one of the first people to hit me up after I got drafted.