The Washington Wizards lost last night to the Milwaukee Bucks, 137-134 in overtime. Though Washington lost again, I’d say that this was a hard-fought game where the Wizards played at their best.
Bradley Beal scored a career-high 55 points last night on 19-of-33 shooting and 8-of-13 from the three point line, including a 22 point outburst in the fourth quarter to help force overtime. This comes just one day after he scored 53 points on a 15-of-27 shooting performance in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. Let’s take a look at Beal’s performance below.
The back-to-back 50-point performances are nothing short of sensational. It is also the first time an NBA player has scored 50 or more points in back-to-back games since the late Kobe Bryant did it on March 22 and 23, 2007. As Chris Bumbaca of USA Today noted, Bryant’s back-to-back 50+ point games eventually turned into a four game streak of them.
While that will be a hard feat for Beal (or anyone to match), it’s almost a fitting tribute to Bryant. Beal had his second consecutive 50+ point night on a the second night of a back-to-back on the same day as the former Los Angeles Lakers guard’s public memorial service yesterday.
Given the significance of Beal’s accomplishments, it’s fitting that we take a look around the world to see what other articles were saying about it. So let’s take a quick look around the world!
As you may be aware, France is one of the most basketball-friendly countries in Europe and the world. Though I wouldn’t call Ian Mahinmi a superstar, French sites are going mention Beal’s performance in separate articles, even if Washington never had a French player before.
BasketSession.com, a site based in Paris, tied a bit more into the Beal and Kobe parallels. After all, Beal was not able to attend the memorial service yesterday. But the back-to-back 50-point performances are still a great tribute nevertheless, even if Washington couldn’t win these games despite Beal’s heroics.
Beal may be the Wizards’ best player, but Rui Hachimura is the team’s global ambassador. There are numerous journalists from Japan who come to each Wizards home game, so here is just one.
At Basket-Count.com, the recap of last night’s game focused more on Hachimura being matched up against Giannis Antetokounmpo. Hachimura scored 12 points and also logged 46 minutes, more than any other Washington player last night.
Basketball King also noted Hachimura’s statistics and contributions toward Beal’s play.
We go to Japan’s western neighbor to see how fans in Korea feel about Beal’s performance.
Hyung Bin Lee of Rookie, a Korean basketball magazine, wrote a more sobering piece. Lee mentioned that the Wizards are just 1-8 this season when Beal scores more than 40 points in a game. That echoes off For The Win’s point about Beal becoming an NBA meme.
Here’s my opinion on Beal’s scoring despite the losses. It is necessary, even if he’s had un-Meessemanesque efficiency in the last couple years. Speaking about the namesake of the term, Meessemanesque, let’s go to...
You would think that more Belgians would be aware of the Wizards because Emma Meesseman, the reigning WNBA Finals MVP plays for a team in the same sport and city. But for the most part, Belgians, whether Dutch or French speaking, will probably say “meh” at anything about D.C.’s NBA team this season. At least until today.
Het Laatse Nieuws, a Dutch language paper based in Antwerp had an article on Beal matching Bryant’s accomplishments. The title of the piece is sort of interesting where it translates to “Unparalleled Beal loses with Washington, but matches impressive stats from Kobe Bryant.” Maybe there’s something lost in translation, but the title almost seems to hope that Beal requests a trade out of Washington when he gets the chance.
Le Soir, a French language paper based in Brussels focused more on the Bucks getting a scare from the Wizards in a daily NBA round-up.
Same language as most of Belgium, so why not see what the Dutch papers have to say?
Het Algemeen Dagblad, a newspaper based in in Rotterdam had a very brief post on him, but posted a meme-worthy pic where he looks sad despite making a big shot.
Beal heeft aan 55 punten niet genoeg om Bucks te verslaan https://t.co/3xDmOa9auf pic.twitter.com/fEsXprkOmW— AD.nl/sportwereld (@ADSportwereld) February 25, 2020
We’ll finish this roundup by heading to the Netherlands’ (and Belgium’s) eastern neighbor since Moritz Wagner and Issac Bonga are both from here.
Like the Japanese recaps did with Hachimura, Sport.DE noted the performances with a German slant. However, they did focus a lot more on Beal, who said he wasn’t aware that he matched the late Bryant’s statistics until after the game.
It’s a bit unfortunate that the Wizards weren’t able to win yesterday. But it was certainly good to see sites from many parts of the world give some reactions to his historic performances.