The Washington Wizards have a really strong young core heading into next season, headlined by a dynamic backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. At yesterday’s 2012 Rookie Photo Shoot, where the top NBA rookies posed in their new jerseys, we had a chance to catch up with Beal to talk pregame traditions, the Wizards’ upcoming season and a bold prediction about Florida’s upcoming basketball year.
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Dime: There was a lot of speculation about whether or not you would enter the NBA Draft. What eventually swayed your decision?
Bradley Beal: ‘Cause it’s the realization of my dreams. I felt that I was ready. I sat down with coach [Billy Donovan] and I prayed on it. I felt that it was the right thing, couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Dime: How do you feel about Washington’s young roster moving forward?
BB: I’m excited, honestly. I really can’t wait because John [Wall] is a great point guard, we got a great supporting cast behind us as well. We made a few good trades that’ll help us out a lot and more assets. I’m really looking forward to it.
Dime: What kind of stuff do you do pregame? Traditions, superstitions, etc.
BB: All rap music before a game. I usually eat like pasta or spaghetti before. I pray before the game, I read the Bible before every game, I have to do that.
Dime: Any specific passages?
BB: Psalms 37, Psalms 23, Galatians 6:9, Isaiah 54:17, Isaiah 41:10-13, Romans 8:31-39.
Dime: Last season at Florida, you guys made a pretty deep run in the NCAA Tournament, but probably didn’t get as far as you wanted. Is there a part of you that regrets coming out and not going after that NCAA championship?
BB: A part of me didn’t want to leave. Our team this year is going to be like the same. We lost two people: me and Erving Walker. It was hard for me to come out because I wanted to go back because we had a great team this year. But I knew I had to leave. I know those guys will probably do well this year. I’m pretty sure they’ll probably win a national championship this year. Don’t quote me on it, but in my opinion I think they will.
Dime: How do you think you played in Summer League?
BB: Summer League I think I did pretty good. I mean there’s a lot of things I gotta improve on, but I still think I had a solid run.
Dime: Now that you’ve had a taste of NBA competition, how do you think you’ll stack up?
BB: I think I’ll be pretty good. As long as I stay on the right path, both on and off the court, and I keep putting in the time and the effort and the hard work and do what it takes.
Dime: When your career is all said and done, what do you want people to say about Bradley Beal?
BB: I want people to say that I was a great team player, that I was hard working and willing to sacrifice. And hopefully one of the best shooters to ever play the game.
Dime: Now that you have some down time between Summer League and training camp, what are you doing to keep yourself busy?
BB: I workout, relax, chill with my brothers. I play video games now, but that’s what you do when you’re bored. I’m trying to find hobbies to do. I draw a lot.
Dime: You worried about your NBA 2K13 rating at all?
BB: No, no. Hopefully it won’t be too low. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be the first one to buy it.
Dime: What do you think you should be rated?
BB: I have no idea. Hopefully an 80. Hopefully my rebounding’s good, I do that more than anything. I don’t even know, it’s not my decision.
What do you think?
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