Trouble is brewing within the Washington Wizards locker room. Franchise cornerstones John Wall and Bradley Beal apparently don’t get along with each other.
Wall has a tendency to lash out on his teammates while Beal is predisposed to take things personally. Tensions escalated this offseason when the Wizards signed Beal to a five-year, $127 million contract. The max extension will pay Beal $6 million more than Wall in the next three seasons.
In an interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic, Wall recognized that there was on-court friction between him and Beal. He reiterated that communication is vital, but he does not take on-court arguments personally. He challenged Beal to up his game in order to give credence to his enormous pay check.
“Now that you have your money you got to go out there and improve your game. I want you to be an All-Star just as much as I’m an All-Star,” said Wall. “If we were playing well as a tandem like the other two superstars that play together as a backcourt, one night it’s going to be his night, one night it’s going to be mine, some nights it might be both of us. Those are nights it’s going to be tough to beat us.”
Despite Wall’s pronouncements, some basketball pundits believe their contract difference and personality clash will make it difficult for Wall and Beal to coexist in the next three seasons. Some argue that it would be best for the Wizards to trade one or the other, instead of letting the feud stall the team’s development.
Common knowledge will dictate that Wall is more valuable to the team than Beal. The 6-foot-4 playmaker is a three-time NBA All Star and was selected to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2015.
Beal is an up-and-coming talent who has the potential to become the next Ray Allen. He missed 19 games last season because of a left shoulder injury in November. He returned to action in January, but had to come off the bench due to minutes restriction.
Wiz of Awes noted that Beal should use Wall’s comments as motivation, and nothing more. Beal’s breakup with Wall will be devastating for the Wizards. However, it is something the team should consider if the duo causes the team more bad than good.