Wizards guard Bradley Beal expressed the dire need for a “culture change” in Washington this week, and coach Scott Brooks heard him loud and clear.
Beal was extremely frustrated on Wednesday following their loss to the Chicago Bulls, which had marked their third loss in four games and the second straight since his return from a leg injury. For a team with just 13 wins and near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the frustration had clearly boiled over.
Bradley Beal was particularly down after tonight’s loss in Chicago.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 16, 2020
On why this loss was hitting him harder than usual: “They all do. I don’t like losing. I’m sorry. Especially winnable games.”
On if it builds up: “Yeah, I would hope it does. I don’t like losing.” pic.twitter.com/SYSY1CkQaf
“We just have to figure out a way to get it done,” Beal said, via Fred Katz of The Athletic.
“I don’t like losing, I’m sorry. Especially winable games … Until we start winning and changing our culture, then …”
Brooks said that Beal felt “totally different” the next day, and was clearly just frustrated after the loss. While he gets where that frustration is coming from, especially after the Wizards’ struggles in recent years, Brooks isn’t running from it.
“I think with changing our culture, we have. We’ve done that,” Brooks said, via Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. “Sometimes wins and losses are a part of every team’s culture. You can’t have a bunch of good guys that play hard for three straight years and not win because eventually a lot of people are no longer there. So, winning is part of culture but right now we’re not doing that at the high level we want to do it at but we’re not going to run from it. We’re not going to hide from only 13 wins, but this is what it is.”
In Brooks’ defense, the Wizards are dealing with plenty of injuries on top of an extremely young roster. John Wall is still out for the year while recovering from an Achilles injury, and Beal was sidelined for seven games before making his return this week with a knee injury. Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, Rui Hachimura and Isaac Bonga are all under 22 years old, too.
Though it may be rough now, Brooks thinks it will actually pay off in the long run — especially because to Beal’s leadership.
“I think a lot of guys have gotten better over this,” Brooks said, via Buckner. “Eventually, it’s going to pay off. I believe that. I like what we’re doing and Brad likes what we’re doing. Was he frustrated? Yeah. You talk to him the next day, he feels totally different.
“He’s a part of our culture and he’s a big part of it. When you lose everybody feels bad about it, and that’s a good thing.”
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