Bradley Beal happy to get All-Star votes, but isn't sure game should be played

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Chase Hughes
·2 min read
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Beal happy for All-Star votes, but not sure game should happen originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The first round of All-Star fan vote results that showed Bradley Beal leading all Eastern Conference guards made Beal happy, but also confused.

After being ninth at this same stage each of the last two seasons, he's not sure why fans all of a sudden like him a lot more than they did in previous years.

"I'm excited about that. It's a huge honor, to be able to gain that recognition from fans around the world. That means the world to me, for sure," Beal said.

"What was so different from this year and last year? But, to each his own. I appreciate everybody for showing their support. I guess they're finally tuning in. Hopefully we keep going. Keep voting."

Beal, 27, is leading the NBA in scoring this season with 33.2 points per game. But he averaged 30.5 per game last season, tops in the East, so that alone doesn't explain the change. 

Just like the past two seasons, Beal's Wizards aren't winning many games. Maybe he's getting more exposure as a Jordan brand athlete now, or that he got so much attention from both getting snubbed last year and being mentioned in trade rumors that it raised his profile.

Whatever the reason, Beal will take it. But it also doesn't sound like he is sure he wants to play in the game, if he's invited, echoing concerns shared by LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and other stars who are wary about playing an exhibition game during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Currently, I'm not excited about it, honestly. Just with the protocols we have to go through now, I think no disrespect to the All-Star game, but it's a pandemic going on. All-Star weekend is about the experience for the fans and everybody, for families to be in the environment and that's not gonna be there," Beal explained.

"We're not gonna be at appearances, we're not gonna be doing the things we normally do. So, I don't think it's worth the force. I don't think there is any benefit for either side, whether it's the [NBA Players Association] side, the league's side. I don't think there's any benefit for anybody besides people watching guys hoop, which we're doing on the daily anyways."

Beal mentioned an upcoming vote by the players association on whether they should participate in the All-Star game. The annual showcase is currently set for March 7, but enough players are speaking up that the league may have to hear them out.