- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bradley Beal is a realist. The Wizards star understands the fan vote. He knows his team’s record, six games under .500.

So asked about his chances of being named among the All-Star starters when they’re announced by the league Thursday, Beal dismissed the idea outright.

There’s being pessimistic, and then there was this.

“Let’s be honest, guys,” Beal said. “I’m not going to be a starter. It’s fine. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It is what it is.”

Beal is seeking his second straight All-Star nomination. The 25-year-old has had a stellar season, averaging 24.7 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.

He’s taken another leap after co-star John Wall went out with a season-ending heel injury in late December, as well.

But Beal is likely right about his chances. Starters are voted in by a combination of fan, media and player votes — and Beal was significantly behind in the fan vote, which accounts for 50 percent of the tally.

Some media members have made the case for Beal in recent weeks. Besides Boston’s Kyrie Irving, there’s not a clear cut player who “deserves” to be named to the opposite guard spot in the Eastern Conference. Other candidates like Charlotte’s Kemba Walker and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons have slumped at times this season.

As of Jan. 17, Irving and Miami’s Dwyane Wade led the Eastern Conference in the fan vote. Voting closed late Monday.

Beal, meanwhile, has appeared in all 46 games. In Wall’s latest absence, he’s shooting 45.1 percent and scoring 28.1 points per game.

The Wizards are also 7-4 in that span.

If Beal isn’t named a starter, he’ll have a chance to be named among the reserves. NBA coaches are responsible for voting for the reserves and they will be announced on Jan. 31.

Beal was not voted a starter last season, but was picked as a reserve.

The NBA’s All-Star Game takes place Feb. 17 in Charlotte.

Teams are picked by having “captains,” or the two players who receive the most videos, draft players back-and-forth. This year, ESPN will televise the All-Star draft on Feb. 7.

For the draft, the captains have to pick the starters first before moving on to the reserves.

Beal said he was “positive” he wouldn’t be among the starters.

“We can all be honest, right?” Beal said.

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