The Washington Wizards lost last night to the Miami Heat. But to many fans, including me, we still feel like the Wizards won because star guard Bradley Beal has reportedly received the coronavirus vaccine.
By receiving the vaccine, Beal, like 85.4 percent of D.C.’s residents has received at least one dose. Depending on when he received the vaccine or which vaccine he received, Beal may or is expected to be like the 66.7 percent of D.C. residents who are fully vaccinated. While Beal is still off the court due to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, we can have peace of mind that his vaccination status should not be an issue for the remainder of the season.
As a player, Beal and the Wizards benefit in the following ways:
- Beal won’t have to worry about missing Wizards games and losing pay because of his vaccination status — Enough said. The upcoming Jan. 15 mandate isn’t something we as fans have to lose sleep over, at least with Washington’s franchise player. Note that we are assuming that Beal will also have two doses of the coronavirus vaccine (if he didn’t receive Johnson & Johnson) by Feb. 15, if he hasn’t been fully vaccinated already.
- Beal improves or at least preserves his trade value — Beal is a player multiple teams covet for trades, even though his production has dropped some this season. If the Wizards were to trade him this season for whatever reason, they would get more in return for him because he is vaccinated. For example, the Wizards would not realistically be able to trade him to the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks due to vaccine mandates on workers in L.A. and New York City. As an extension of that, the vaccination also makes him a more desirable free agent.
- Beal will be able to play against the Toronto Raptors in a possible playoff series — The postseason is several months away, but road players aren’t exempt from vaccine mandates on all incoming travelers to Canada. The Wizards already played two road games in Toronto but this aforementioned mandate wasn’t in effect earlier in the season.
There are also other benefits Beal will have as a role model and ambassador for D.C. sports and the DMV. Here are some of them:
- Beal can attend all sports games and indoor charity events in D.C. — When the Capitals play an opponent, Brad can be there to say “What’s up?” to Alex Ovechkin and bang on the glass at Capital One Arena. When the Belgium women’s national basketball team comes to D.C. this February for the FIBA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, Beal can fistbump Emma Meesseman and say, “Welcome home champ!” and sit next to her during the team’s qualifying games. (Okay, he probably can’t sit next to the Belgian Cats, but you get what I mean.) The same goes for Beal making a cameo appearance at a high school game or a charity event that requests his presence, hopefully after this omicron wave subsides.
- Beal will find it easier to travel abroad this summer — When the Wizards’ season is over, Beal won’t have to worry about long quarantines or outright bans, particularly in other western countries like those in the European Union. He’s a famous man, especially here in D.C., but he’s not ... Christiano Ronaldo in basketball either.
While I admit that I wish Beal were vaccinated against the coronavirus earlier, I am happy with his decision. Thank you Brad.