The NBA announced the All-Star reserves and Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was not among them.
“I’m a little pissed off about it,” Beal, a two-time All-Star, said after the Wizards’ victory on Thursday night. “I know how I am, [so] I was kind of expecting it, honestly. It’s disrespectful, but the real ones know [I’m an All-Star]. I’ll just keep competing. I’m going to try to get my team in the playoffs for sure.”
Beal is the only player in the history of the NBA to score over 28 points per game and not receive an invitation to the All-Star Game (h/t to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports for the stat).
Beal’s agent, Mark Bartenstein, went further into why Beal was robbed of the selection, telling ESPN that Beal was penalized for staying with a rebuilding team.
“He chose not to (leave), and instead stayed the course — only to not be recognized as an All-Star because his team hasn’t won enough games when, in fact, the Wizards have exceeded expectations,” Bartelstein said.
“It can’t be just about the gross numbers of wins and losses. It has to be, ‘What is your impact on the game?’ And so I think the coaches are sending a horrible message to players, that if you want to be loyal and go through the tough times in your organization, you’re not going to be an All-Star in those tough times.”
Beal understood that the team was not going to be a contender when he signed his contract extension before the season. The Wizards are in the midst of a rebuilding year, though they pulled off a few upsets, including wins over the Celtics and Nuggets. The team has been one of the better offensive units in the league, yet defense has been another story.
“I really don’t know,” Teammate Thomas Bryant said about why Beal wasn’t selected. “If you look at what he’s done for this program, look at what he’s done for his teammates – individually, me – as much as he’s done, his hard work, his play, day-in and day-out. This should be unexplainable. He should be a shoo-in. It’s just not right.”
Beal is averaging 28.7 points, 6.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds per game. He’s sporting a career-high 22.7 player efficiency rating.
“He played like he has all year,” Isaiah Thomas said. “Even though they did not name him an All-Star, he is an All-Star. I feel for Brad. He is a great dude. He continues to work hard. We know he is an All-Star. He knows he is an All-Star. Not being named an All-Star, should not be any validation when you have played like he has.”
Eastern Conference Reserves:
- Bam Adebayo, Heat
- Jimmy Butler, Heat
- Kyle Lowry, Raptors
- Khris Middleton, Bucks
- Domantas Sabonis, Pacers
- Ben Simmons, Sixers
- Jayson Tatum, Celtics
As a reminder, here are the starters from the East:
- Trae Young, Hawks
- Kemba Walker, Celtics
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
- Pascal Siakam, Raptors
- Joel Embiid, Sixers
Western Conference Reserves:
- Rudy Gobert, Jazz
- Brandon Ingram, Pelicans
- Nikola Jokic, Nuggets
- Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
- Donovan Mitchell, Jazz
- Chris Paul, Thunder
- Russell Westbrook, Rockets
As a reminder, here are the starters from the West:
- James Harden, Rockets
- Luka Doncic, Mavericks
- LeBron James, Lakers
- Kawhi Leonard, Clippers
- Anthony Davis, Lakers