Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal will not play the rest of the 2020 NBA season when it resumes on July 31. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)
Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal will not play the rest of the 2020 NBA season when it resumes on July 31. (Daniel Kucin Jr./The Washington Informer)

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal will not play during the NBA restart on July 31 in Orlando due to a nagging rotator cuff injury that has hampered him for most of the 2020 season.

Beal made the tough decision after consulting with team Chief of Athlete Care & Performance Daniel Medina and Wizards Orthopedist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, deciding that it made more sense to sit out and fully recover.

“Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts, we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury,” said Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard.

“Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision.”

Without the support of star point guard John Wall, who is also on the shelf nursing an Achilles injury, Beal led the Wizards in scoring and showcased an ability to get his teammates involved as a facilitator guiding Washington with more than six assists per contest.

“This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” Beal said. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.”

With his current averages of 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game on 45.5% shooting from the field, Beal joins Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the only players to post averages of at least 30 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game on 45% or better shooting in a single season since 1975.

Beal scored 25 or more points in 21 straight games from Jan. 20 – March 6, the longest streak in franchise history and the second-longest NBA streak in the past 10 seasons. During the streak, Beal passed Jeff Malone for second place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list.

Other notable Wizards that will not be playing are Davis Bertans, Thomas Bryant and Gary Payton II. Bertans opted out of playing in the tournament, and both Bryant and Payton have tested positive for COVID-19 and did not travel with the team.

The Wizards (24-40) are currently 5 1/2 games back from the eighth spot behind the Orland Magic (30-35) in the Eastern Conference.

Beal off the court

Though Beal will not be on the court to assist his teammates, he gave back to the community earlier this month by surprising four Ron Brown College Preparatory High School (RBHS) students with scholarships.

Beal, the 2018-19 NBA Community Assist Award winner, continues his charitable work with RBHS.

D.C. natives Hassan Brunner, Jarden Crosson, Christian Johnson and Justin Williams will be attending HBCUs from Beal’s scholarships totaling in $3,000 apiece.

Each student also received a gift box containing a Microsoft Surface Pro and keyboard, a Wizards and Mystics Black Lives Matter T-shirt, a copy of the No. 1 bestseller book “Between the World and Me,” a sweatshirt of each student’s respective university, inspirational quote pins and a Wizards fanny pack with branded items.

In November, Beal sponsored buses for students from RBHS to take college tours at Lincoln University, Morgan State University and Salisbury University. He also invited the students back for the Beal & Wall Thanksgiving Assist, as well as Monumental Thanksgiving Day Assist, where students were given turkeys and other dishes for their holiday meal.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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