“[Greg Popovich is] perfect, man,” Beal said. “He’s an awesome coach to be around and his energy, his intensity, it just trickles down to everybody. It’s contagious.”
The timing is interesting, Hughes notes, as the Wizards are currently in the midst of a coaching search. Whomever the Wizards hire will be the third head coach of Beal’s career, and now that Beal has experienced playing under Popovich, it will be interesting to see what he makes of the new hire. It’s reported that Beal will have input in the decision.
We have more notes from around the Southeast Division:
- In his latest mailbag, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel discusses the question of whether the Heat missed an opportunity by not doing more to keep Suns’ Executive of the Year James Jones in the Heat organization. It’s unlikely Jones would’ve gotten the same opportunity as quickly in Miami that he got in Phoenix, Winderman concludes.
- Much has been made of Jimmy Butler‘s combative nature, Winderman writes, but Heat legend Chris Bosh says some of that is the nature of the NBA, and that competitive fire looks different when the team is winning versus when it’s losing. “There’ll always be reports of conflict when the season isn’t that good. The conflict is different. When they’re winning and arguing, it’s great, it’s a great thing,” Bosh said. “What I find is most important, is you have to talk about it. We’re all adults, right?”
- Winderman also checks in with Heat free agent Nemanja Bjelica on the heels of Serbia’s elimination from the Tokyo Olympic games on their home floor. “Disaster, it is fair to say, failure,” Bjelica said. “We are always expected to always win. The only thing left is that we wanted to make these people happy. I can only apologize, if it means something. I will take responsibility as a player with the most experience here.”