- Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage
- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
Wizards take Bradley Beal with No. 3 pick in NBA draft
The Wizards weathered a flurry of rumors at the top of the NBA draft and landed the man they wanted with the No. 3 pick, selecting the Florida guard in the hopes that the sharpshooter will be the offensive threat needed to help lift the team out of the lottery and toward the playoffs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers threw everything at the Charlotte Bobcats to nab the No. 2 pick and take Beal ahead of the Wizards, but when Charlotte took Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a relieved Washington front office knew it was in good shape.
“There’s no doubt about it — this was the kid that we wanted,” coach Randy Wittman said. “We were worried. You heard all day long that Cleveland or Houston or somebody was going to jump up there. I got tired of the media talking about Bradley Beal so much.”
Beal was surprised to be the focus of so many rumors, but he said that coming to Washington was his first choice.
“I was nervous as I don’t know what,” he said. “When the second pick went by, everything went away. In the back of my mind, I was hoping I was coming here. I can’t wait to step on the court and get this thing rolling.”
Once NBA commissioner David Stern read Beal’s name, the Wizards could begin making plans to slot the 3-point threat with speedy guard John Wall to form what the team hopes will be a dynamic backcourt.
“He’s a great pick,” Wall said. “He’s somebody that can make shots, spread the court for you. I think he can come in and help us a lot. I need guys that can knock down shots, and he’s a consistent knock-down shooter.”
In his sole season at Florida, the 6-foot-5 Beal averaged 14.8 points while often playing small forward for the Gators, leading the team in rebounding at 6.7 per game. In his workout for the Wizards, Beal wanted Wittman to promise that the team would take him, saying he knew it was a good match.
“I felt like the relationship was there,” Beal said. “It just felt right. I’m glad and grateful that he chose me. I’m going to give it my all and hopefully make a big impact.”
“Once you see the kid shoot, there’s no question that he’s going to make shots because of his stroke, fundamentals and footwork,” Wittman said. “From a coaching, clinical standpoint, that’s not a question.”
Beal has no worries about his game translating to the NBA, even if some have knocked him for not being as tall as his listed height, making him vulnerable to bigger shooting guards. He plans to showcase his work ethic to be ready for summer league and training camp.
“Right now, there’s no time to celebrate,” he said. “Starting [Friday] it’s time to get to work. Getting myself ready and really staying on the grind.”
ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy pilloried the Wizards on the draft broadcast for surrounding Wall with “knuckleheads” in the past, making the acquisition of Beal, along with other high-character individuals such as Nene and Emeka Okafor, a clear sign the team is intent on changing the culture of its locker room.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Russian bombers buzz U.K. airspace; jets scrambled to chase off 'Bears'
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- ISTOOK: Obama's sleight of hand hides hidden government's work
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014