Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal called out an ESPN writer on Tuesday
In 57 games played, Beal averaged 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. He narrowly missed an All-Star selection, in large part due to the fact that the Wizards were atrocious on defense and fairly far out of the playoff picture.
While Washington can still play themselves into the postseason during their eight seeding games (and potentially a few play-in games against the eight-seed, if they get close enough), it’s unlikely without Beal and John Wall. For the Wizards, Orlando will be a good time to get a look at the young Rui Hachimura instead.
Beal, despite missing the All-Star game, still looked like a decent option for an All-NBA team, but early returns on votes don’t seem to be optimistic for Beal.
Zach Lowe even said he “was one of the idiots” who left Beal off his All-Star ballot when Beal joined him on his podcast The Lowe Post in April.
“I am one of the idiots who left you off my All-Star roster this year. And I got a talking-to from your agent about it. And then you proceeded to score like 1,000 points every single game after that so the floor is yours, tell me why I was wrong and how angry were you about not making, you looked very angry about not making the All-Star team, you played angry.”
Lo and behold, though, Lowe published his thoughts and All-NBA votes. No Beal, despite more or less admitting he should have had Beal on his All-Star squad.
Bradley Beal calls out ESPN’s Zach Lowe
Bradley Beal noticed that he was left off of Lowe’s list and took to Twitter to presumably call him out. Beal doesn’t name him specifically, but you can connect the dots, especially when you consider people in Beal’s circle were a little more clear in calling the media out.
Here was Lowe’s reasoning in the ESPN post:
“Beal slipped on that end, too. He’d probably admit that. If given the choice between Beal/Young and two-way wings on good teams, I’m going with the latter for All-NBA every time.”
Beal’s defensive box plus/minus was a career-low, -2.4 (previous worst, -0.9). It’s certainly true that Beal’s defense hasn’t been good this year, but some of the statistics are the product of the other four players on the floor with him as much as it is him.
Despite that, Beal is the NBA’s second-leading scorer at 30.5 points per game this season.
But Beal hasn’t played a single game since Lowe and Beal had their conversation, so what gives with Lowe changing his opinion on Beal’s position? Surely if he thinks he should have been an All-Star, isn’t he on one of the three All-NBA teams?
More time to mull it over, perhaps? But as Lowe said in his podcast with Beal, when he left him off his All-Star ballot, he got a “talking to” from Beal’s agent and felt like an “idiot” because Beal went off in scoring over the next several games (Beal averaged 36.2 points per game in February).
But did Lowe actually lie? Doesn’t seem so. Here’s what he actually said to Beal in the April podcast.
“You are having an All-NBA level season. Guys on non-playoff teams don’t often make All-NBA but I think you have a case for one of the six guard spots.”
“Having a case” isn’t a guaranteed vote. And Lowe says as much in his column — Beal had a case, but ultimately didn’t cut it.