On Monday, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal wrote a column on The Players’ Tribune. It has very nothing to do with his pending three-year, $111 million contract extension. It has very little to do with the Wizards. It has everything to do with his fandom for the Washington Mystics.
As of 12 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, the column was the top story on The Players’ Tribune’s site, but here’s the link below for you to check it out!
In the piece, Beal wrote very early on that his mother was the first major basketball influencer in his life. His mom even made sure that he and his brothers would watch the WNBA as well in the summers. And Beal also added that he did NOT write the piece to be a “Monumental Sports & Entertainment shill.” The quote is mine.
For the record, Bullets Forever doesn’t write on the Mystics for PR reasons either.
Beal apparently wasn’t committed to a particular team as a child. But after he was drafted in 2013, he wrote that “I knew I was destined to become a Mystics fan.” Beal mentioned his interactions with Ivory Latta and Monique Currie as two of the first players he knew as a young player.
Of course, Beal went on to give his shoutouts to the Mystics’ key contributors. Elena Delle Donne, Emma Meesseman, Natasha Cloud, Ariel Atkins, Aerial Powers, LaToya Sanders, Tianna Hawkins and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough all received mentions.
Beal also wrote in detail why the WNBA needs to pay players more, though he didn’t mentioned the pending Collective Bargaining Agreement talks that will begin after this season.
But if you are wondering who Beal’s favorite Mystics player is, it’s starting point guard Kristi Toliver. Beal wrote that he finds her to be a similar player in her demeanor since they are “naturally both quiet people - but we’re hard workers who badly want to win.”
As one of the Wizards’ assistant coaches, he also credited Toliver for helping fine tune his game, questioning him at times when he needs it. In fact, Beal credits Toliver for making him a better player last season, where he averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.
I don’t want to steal more thunder from Beal, so take some time to read his column!