Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal wasn’t quite at his best in Wednesday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a come-from-behind victory, he revealed a shocking piece of bad news, explaining why he wasn’t wholly focused on basketball during the game.
Beal shared in his postgame press conference that his grandmother passed away on Tuesday. He learned of her death right after the Wizards’ plane touched down in Cleveland.
Beal explained that he wasn’t all the way in the game mentally and emotionally on Wednesday, because of his close relationship with his grandmother. He shared that it was like losing his second mother and that he hoped she was proud of him.
“I wasn’t in (the game) mentally, emotionally…my granny, she’s like my mom 2.0. She’s super special,” Beal said,
Bradley Beal says his grandmother passed away Tuesday. “I wasn’t in (the game) mentally, emotionally…my granny, she’s like my mom 2.0. She’s super special. I know the one thing she would have wanted was for me to fight and play.”
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) November 11, 2021
“>per David Aldridge. “I know the one thing she would have wanted was for me to fight and play.”
Beal went 4-for-19 from the floor and 1-of-5 from three on Wednesday, scoring just 13 points. He added seven assists and six rebounds in the Wizards 97-94 win.
Although Beal’s play might not have been up to his usual standards, he did make the most crucial pass of the game. After taking an inbounds pass on the Wizards’ second-to-last possession, he drove to the basket and kicked the ball to the corner to an open Kyle Kuzma. The former Lakers forward drilled the shot to give Washington a 95-94 lead with 11.4 seconds remaining.
An stop on the next Cavaliers possession and an ensuing layup from rookie Corey Kispert sealed the Wizards win. Washington improved to 8-3 on the year with the victory, continuing to hold a share of the lead in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls.
The time will come to see where the Wizards stack up amongst the league’s other elite teams, but for now Beal’s thoughts will remain with his grandmother.
Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.