“I know right now whether I start him or whether I bring him off the bench what I’m going to get from an effort standpoint,” Wittman said. “You don’t know if the shots are going to go in, but I know what he’s going to do. That’s been impressive for 19 year old.”
In fact, Wittman liked what he saw from Beal after his first workout.
“After watching him, putting him through a workout and then sitting down and talking with him, that was the clincher,” he said. “His poise, his maturity all that together forms a special package. You can’t teach it, either you have poise or you don’t. It’s not something you can magically put on somebody.”
Along with that poise comes a demeanor that Beal says makes him more calm than emotional.
Except for that preseason game in Toronto.
“I’m real calm, you can’t tell if I’m playing well or I’m playing bad,” Beal said. “But sometimes my emotions can get the best of me. I showed it in Toronto for the first time. It was actually the first time I ever got mad.”
In the 104-101 loss Oct. 17, Beal said the effort was there, but the results weren’t.
“I was just frustrated,” he said. “I kept contesting my man’s shots, and he kept making them. I was like, ‘Should I foul him or what should I do?’ It’s a learning process. I think if I just keep within the flow of the game I’ll be fine.”
Although he’s played just one game at Verizon Center, Beal knows that Wizards fans are excited to see him, especially when Wall returns. During the team’s lone home preseason contest, a 108-101 loss to the New York Knicks on Oct. 11, Beal said that he could hear the fans screaming for Wittman to put him in the game.
“I heard it,” Beal said with a shy smile. “But I don’t pay attention to it. We’re all one team.”
With a reflective pause, he talked about why he wanted to become a Wizard, and why he felt that way from his first day at Verizon Center.
“They didn’t guarantee me anything, didn’t tell me I was going to be the man coming here or anything like that,” Beal said. “They just told me they needed my help and that they wanted me to be a part of this team. They were straight with me, and that’s what I wanted out of an organization.”
There’s also one other thing a 19-year-old needs, something Beal said Wall reminded him of.
“John told me to just enjoy my rookie year,” Beal said. “Sometimes you try to put pressure on yourself instead of just remembering that no matter what, you still have love and passion for this game.”