Bradley Beal Says Wizards Playing Bucks on Friday Would Be 'Recipe for Injury'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Wizards haven't played since Jan. 11 and have seen five games postponed because of the NBA's health and safety protocol.

As a result, star guard Bradley Beal does not think it will be safe to play the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday following 11 days off and little practice time.

"That's just a recipe for injury, honestly," he told reporters. Beal also said the team is fighting not to play so soon.

The Wizards announced they were cleared to practice Wednesday and shared a lengthy injury/illness list:

Beal acknowledged the players want to play but are concerned with keeping themselves and their families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's going to take a collective effort from PA and league," he said. "... It's like mixed emotions, mixed feelings [about continuing to play]."

The guard said he is not against playing in a bubble at some point this season, adding "I just wanna hoop. Hoopers hoop."

Washington had games against the Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers (twice) and Charlotte Hornets postponed following its 3-8 start. While the team struggled out of the gates, Beal was brilliant and averaged 34.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.4 steals a night in his first 10 games.

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The league has dealt with a number of challenges as it attempts to play in home markets this season, which stands in stark contrast to the end of the 2019-20 campaign. There were no positive tests inside the Walt Disney World Resort bubble as the NBA finished its season and playoffs.

Still, there has been no indication to this point that the league will play in a bubble again this season.