Bradley Beal Opens Up on Teaming Up With Russell Westbrook in Washington Wizards

Published 12/06/2020, 5:15 AM EST
DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 20: Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets stands on the court against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Russell Westbrook has a new All-Star teammate – Bradley Beal. Westbrook went to Washington Wizards through a trade that had John Wall go to Houston. The two will form an excellent pairing in Washington that should propel them into the playoffs. Beal suggested in a recent interview that he is excited to play with Russell Westbrook.

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Westbrook has changed teams for a second time in the past few years. Last year, he left OKC-the team that drafted him-to team up with James Harden. It was a reunion for the two friends since their days together in Oklahoma. The Rockets brought Westbrook in, as he had a great relationship with James Harden, and hoped that the dynamic backcourt could help lead the Rockets to the NBA finals.

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 20: Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets and James Harden (13) celebrate a shift in momentum as Will Barton (5) and Gary Harris (14) of the Denver Nuggets walk back to the bench during the first quarter on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

However, there were issues with them playing together. Both Harden and Harden are players that need the ball in their hands. And asking either to play without the ball in their hands was not an easy task. But both players eventually found their grove playing together.

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Yet the NBA bubble proved to be their downfall. Russell Westbrook contracted COVID-19 prior to entering the bubble. And when he returned, he didn’t seem like himself. The Rockets beat the Thunder in seven games, but fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.

Beal talks Russell Westbrook partnership

SAITAMA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 08: Russell Westbrook #0 of Houston Rockets dribbles up court against the Toronto Raptors on October 8, 2019 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

That seemed to spell the end for the duo. Westbrook put in a trade request and got his wish. However, he still maintains no hard feelings with Harden, whom he considers a friend.

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Bradley Beal spoke to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports about Westbrook’s ball-dominant style, and whether Westbrook would take shine away from him in Washington. Beal suggested that the two can work together. “I think on the court, we’ll be good, man. I don’t think it will be anything where he will come in and try to run the show and do everything by himself.”

Beal said that he isn’t like other players Westbrook has played with and can adapt to his style. “For me to sit here and say he can’t make things work with other guys, well I can sit here and say I’m not other guys, either. Their games aren’t like my game. I’m very adaptable. I adjust to who’s with me, who I’m playing with, new guys we add. My job is to make his job easier.”

Beal also believes that he can learn from playing with a former MVP like Westbrook. “I’ll feed off of [his game], too. I think I have a lot to learn from him. He’s a lot older than me, he’s an MVP, he’s been there.”

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Westbrook and Beal take the court together in the new NBA season. It will be interesting how the two All-Stars play together in Washington.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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