Bradley Beal hasn’t decided yet if he’ll play in NBA restart

Bradley Beal spoke with Washington media by Zoom today and said he’s still deciding if he’ll play in Orlando.

Last Wednesday was supposed to be the deadline for NBA players to notify their teams if they were opting out of the league’s restart in Orlando. However, we’re continuing to hear reports of players who are still making up their minds about whether or not they’ll participate.

Bradley Beal spoke with the media by Zoom today and said he hasn’t made a decision yet. Per The Athletic’s David Aldridge, he added, “I’m working my tail off every single day as if I am playing.” It sounds like he wants to be ready and it’s understandable that he’s hesitant to commit all the way. The situation is fluid and changing day by day.

What factors is Bradley Beal considering?

Ongoing protests and social justice activism have been a factor in the decision for several players, in both the NBA and WNBA, and Beal has been a vocal participant. However, health and safety seem to be a bigger issue for Beal. Per The Athletic’s Fred Katz, in the same call, Beal said he didn’t think resuming the season would distract from the fight at hand: “I feel like we stopped playing basketball because of COVID. We didn’t stop playing because of social justice. And I feel like we can still raise that awareness.”

Beal also shared an unfortunately familiar story of a traffic stop from a few years ago, an anecdote that included racial profiling and abuse of power on the part of the officer.

The Wizards are the only Eastern Conference team headed to Orlando that is currently outside the playoff picture and trying to make their way in. If Beal does not go, the Wizards will be at an enormous disadvantage. Ace shooter Davis Bertans has already opted out, leaving Washington shorthanded on offense.

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