On Monday, Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal wrote a farewell letter to Washington Wizards fans on The Players’ Tribune. I prefer that you read the entire column instead of having me summarize every line and steal Beal’s thunder. So here is the link once again.
In short, Beal thanked Wizards fans and management, including principal owner Ted Leonsis, former President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld and former General Manager Tommy Sheppard. He also named many other executives at Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
It was an emotionally heavy letter for me to read. And I am sorry that I wasn’t able to get to it. I’ve returned from the first day of a week-long work training (with no access to writing pieces ... that’s another story).
The biggest thing is that Beal was here in Washington for 11 years. In some ways, it still feels like yesterday when he started playing here. He played with John Wall during his best seasons when Washington made the second round of the playoffs three times between 2014 and 2017. And looked like they could have won those series each time!
But there hasn't been much to write about since the 2017 playoff series against the Boston Celtics ended. We can argue about when the Wizards should have pulled the plug and started a rebuild.
But the good news is that the new front office is on track to do that now. And Beal will get his chance to play on one of the NBA’s contending teams next season. I’m just happy to see that we also saw Beal play during some of the Wizards’ most promising times.
Thank you for the memories, Brad, and best of luck in Phoenix!