We took a day to digest what went down Monday over at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. In an ordinary sense, media day announces the dawn of a new season. Rising expectations and increasing interest, teams dole their stars, reveal new threads, players, and/or coaches. For the players, they get to tell us what they worked on during the off-season. We got a bit of that on Monday:
- Bradley Beal, our resident young-old-head, delighted us by mentioning he spent the offseason extending his range, as he believes taking (and making) deeper threes is a counter for when teams (inevitably) double-team or trap him. Even better Beal is becoming a leader. Telling the media that he’s already hung out with a few teammates on a personal level. Both bode well for establishing chemistry.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope—a reputable 3-and-D wing with a chip on his shoulder—noted that he is excited to play with his buddy Beal. The most important nugget that he gave us, though, is that he hopes that this iteration of Wizards establishes a brotherhood. As KCP tells it, forming a brotherhood will allow the team to hold each other accountable. Further, did you know he has playmaking ability? He says so himself. So I guess we’ll get to see some of that this season.
- Kyle “Kuz” Kuzma confirmed that he’s a 6’10 forward with an array of skills. What was most impressive from his media spot is his evolution. Admitting that he wasn’t too much into film at the beginning of his career, Kuz has gone FULL-addict. It is unsurprising, then, that a man who would watch film as early (or late) as 3 a.m., would also ask for the film of the Wizards' open runs. His reason for why is unassailable: “film gives you the answers to the tests”
- Spencer Dinwiddie confirming that he has the genius/high-IQ badge. See for yourself:
And he said he’ll guard the opposing team’s second-best player!
- Montrezl Harrell confirmed his pedigree: He’s a dawg, bro! Nenê Hilario approves.
- Aaron Holiday’s presser focused on defense. We’re going to be playing defense this year? Us? Sending folks to DC Central? Whatever the skepticism, Aaron believes it’s possible. We’ll see.
- Davis Bertans took accountability for his sub-par play last season, where he was more Baltic Bust than Lativian Laser.
But the biggest news to come from media day, as you may have heard, Brad Beal, per personal choice, isn’t vaccinated. Differences of opinion are a feature (not a fault) to be celebrated, but one wouldn’t know that based on how fast the vilifying of Brad commenced. Some even called the franchise’s talisman an anti-vaxxer. To be sure, we’ll all be irate should we have to revisit this issue in the event Brad misses games. Because of that possibility, questions about why he isn’t vaccinated were properly asked. But he answered them. Whether to our standards or not, he answered them. We can (strongly) disagree but we have to move on. In 21 days we’re on to what actually matters: getting excited over a team that’ll inevitably let us down (though hopefully not)!