John Wall recently spoke up about what he thinks of the narrative that he and Bradley Beal can’t co-exist on the Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards, when healthy, have one of the most talented backcourts in the NBA. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for seven total All-Star appearances, and though the duo hasn’t been able to push the Wizards very deep in the playoffs in some time, there’s reason to believe a contender can be built in Washington around them.
There’s also reason to be skeptical of the future built around the duo, especially with Wall’s ruptured Achilles’ tendon that he’s been spending this season recovering from.
Beal was a frequent name mentioned in trade rumors and speculation this season leading up to the trade deadline, leading to questions about their fit.
Their relationship on the court has been questioned. Wall sees this, and speaking to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on All The Smoke, he said:
“They always say, ‘They don’t like each other, they downgrading each other,’ like, ain’t no John Wall without Bradley Beal, ain’t no Bradley Beal without John Wall, like we make each other better… It works easy for us,” Wall said.
He knows the statistics show that maybe either of them technically performs better without the other, but doesn’t think that’s all that revealing about the nature of their collective performance.
“At the end of the day, yeah you’re going to play better when there’s not another star player out there because you get more shots, everybody’s going to give you the ball more, everything’s predicated around you,” Wall said.
Beal has statistically benefitted from Wall’s absence, averaging 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists this season (high marks for his career in both points and assists). At what cost to team success, though? The Wizards, 24-40, posted the league’s very worst defensive rating and struggled to carve out a distinct spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Later in the podcast, when speaking about his mother’s battle with cancer and unfortunate passing, Wall talked about how strong his brotherly relationship with Beal is.
Beal was one of the first people to provide emotional support to Wall throughout his stay with his mom in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“When I got the phone call [that my mom was on a ventilator], the first person to come down to my hotel room to hang out with me was Brad,” Wall said. “Like, ‘Yo, you’re my brother, what you goin’ through, I’m goin’ through,’ and after they played that game against Charlotte, they lost, and Brad didn’t even get on the team plane. He drove down to be with me in North Carolina for the next few days.”
Questions about their play on the floor together might be worth asking, but all indications are that their off-court relationship is as strong as ever.
For now, the Wizards will move forward with a backcourt of Wall and Beal, and Wall is confident that the duo is going to make some serious noise whenever they get the chance to take the floor together again.
Wall, during quarantine, is still taking online classes in an effort to obtain the degree he promised his mom he would get before she passed.