Wizards guard Bradley Beal said he isn’t making a decision about new partner Russell Westbrook off his past star pairings.
Westbrook, the NBA’s MVP in 2016-17, will play for the Wizards in 2020-21 in the wake of being managed by the Rockets in return for John Wall a week ago. While he stays one of the NBA’s tip top scorers and makers, worries over his aura and character keep on waiting in the wake of expenditure only one season with previous Thunder colleague James Harden in Houston.
However, two-time All-Star Beal told journalists on Friday: “I’m not KD [Kevin Durant], I’m not PG [Paul George], I’m not Vic [Oladipo], I’m not James.
“We all maybe have our similarities, but we are all different in our ways. I’m not going to judge Russ off of his previous relationships with guys on other teams. I want to be able to put my foot in his shoes and be in the moment. I want to experience these things for myself.”
Westbrook arrived at the midpoint of 27.2 points and seven assists for every game for the Rockets, who had their 14th continuous season at .500 or better yet failed to arrive at the NBA Finals — the longest streak of its sort in NBA history.
In any case, Westbrook’s battles were clear in the playoffs — shooting simply 24.2 percent from 3-point range and 53.1 percent from the free throw line.
Westbrook was the first player in NBA history to shoot under 25 percent from 3 and under 60% from the line in a single postseason (at least 30 attempts in the two categories).
Houston had a 29-13 record when Westbrook shot less than multiple times from past the circular segment contrasted with 10-13 while endeavoring at least five.
“He’s a great passer,” Beal said. “He can pass the hell out of the ball. His pace is crazy. I don’t want to just compare him and John, but he’s very fast with the ball … and he’s looking for his shooters.
“It’s definitely cool to see that. I feel like there is always a false narrative on Russ, but he’s looking for guys, he’s trying to get guys the ball and he’s coaching.”
Nine-time All-Star Westbrook added: “There is no sugarcoating, there is no me trying to be somebody I’m not. Since I have been in this league, I feel like I’m one of the best leaders in the game.
“Leadership is not about what you say and all the s— that people see, but it’s actually what you do and how you impact and better your teammates as men and people.”
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