The NBA released the second return of the NBA All-Star Game fan vote, and it doesn’t look good for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. A week after the first return revealed Beal was ninth among Eastern Conference guards, even trailing Jeremy Lin of the Atlanta Hawks, the second return came back worse.
Beal is now 10th. Fans added another name ahead of the Wizards’ star, the injured Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat. What’s more troubling is Dragic hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 12 and underwent knee surgery and will be until at least through the All-Star break.
Fans are voting more for a bench player in Lin and a player who could not even play if he was voted in such as Dragic over Beal.
Beal is second in the East among guards in scoring with a career-high 24.2 points per game. He also has career-highs with 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.
So how come fans are ignoring Beal in the voting?
A lack of marketability outside of DC is a large reason. Names ahead of him have higher national profiles, even if they are not better players. The Wizards have been the target of national criticism for their in-house fighting, and made-up lack of chemistry.
Just this week the Ringer posted an article about how Tomas Satoransky is “the glue” for a torn apart Wizards’ locker room. Sure, right?
Stephen A. Smith’s negative barbs on the Wizards have become infectious now. Everyone is taking a turn nationally to take a swipe at the team based off assumptions even if the perceived cancer John Wall is out for the season and currently away from the team. So, Beal has no real chance not from the fan vote.
With 11 days remaining from the Jan. 21 deadline, Beal’s All-Star hopes are left to being named as a reserve. And even that appears to be daunting. Dwyane Wade has a sizable lead ahead of Kemba Walker, who leads all Eastern Conference guards in scoring, for the second of two starting guards spots. Wade is in his final season of a lengthy Hall of Fame career and that’s got fans behind them.
Walker is deserving of an All-Star spot, and will more than likely get a reserve spot in the event of Wade being a starter thanks to the coaches. Then the trickle down effect could place Ben Simmons, Victor Oladipo, and Kyle Lowry above Beal among the coaches’ picking.
It would be a shame considering how well Beal has been playing even through a challenging season in Washington. At this point, he will be subjected to wait and see how the coaches decide on Jan. 31 to fill out the All-Star roster.