Wizards guard John Wall caused quite the uproar earlier this summer with his comments about how he and backcourt mate Bradley Beal have “a tendency to dislike each other on the court” sometimes. That was bad news for a team that took a step back last season and missed the playoffs after a solid postseason run the year before.
But with new coach Scott Brooks in tow, there’s an opportunity to repair some of the damage and move forward. That’s exactly what Brooks tried to do recently when he put a different spin on the nature of their relationship. Via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:
“Two things I noticed about both of them: They’re very competitive, and they care about their teammates. When you have those two qualities, you will never have problems with me as the coach and you’ll never have problems with your teammates,” Brooks said. “With that being said, they’re like brothers, and you’re going to have arguments. If you don’t have an argument as an NBA team, that’s odd.”
Brooks is right, of course. It’s perfectly normal for teammates to have disagreements and struggle through chemistry issues at times. To admit so publicly, however, is always going to come off sounding bad and dominate the news cycle for a while. But as the cliche goes, winning cures everything, so the only way for Wall and Beal to put this behind them is to regain some of that swagger that made them such an imposing 1-2 punch in previous years.