Bradley Beal: I Didn't Take Kent Bazemore's Hamstring Injury Joke 'Too Fondly'May 11, 2021
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal acknowledged Kent Bazemore's comment about his hamstring injury cut a little too deep.
Bazemore joked how Golden State Warriors teammate Stephen Curry has "guys hurting hamstrings to keep up" in the NBA scoring race. Beal, who has a left hamstring strain and trails Curry by 0.5 points per game for the scoring title, was the implied target.
Appearing on ESPN's First Take on Tuesday, Beal explained he didn't think the injury was something to mock:
First Take @FirstTake
Bradley Beal is not a fan of Kent Bazemore taking a shot at his hamstring injury. "For me to injure my hamstring and then you kind of make a joke about it, I don't take that too fondly. … Just keep your situation over there. … Don’t make fun of something that’s not funny." https://t.co/XispTfAnpL
"I didn't like that. I didn't like the last part of the comment. The first half of it about what Steph was doing was, I'm with you, bro. Forty-nine in 29 minutes, I think everybody in here can agree that that's remarkable and truly amazing, so nobody's arguing that. But I didn't mention you, my hamstrings have nothing to do with why I go out there and play the game, and for me to injure my hamstring and you kind of make a joke about it, I don't take that too fondly, honestly. Because I take pride in being somebody who, my first four years, I was always labeled as an injury-prone guy. I was always labeled as somebody who couldn't stay on the floor. So I take pride in my body, I take pride in being on the floor and being available for my team and giving my team the best chance to win. ... Don't make fun of something that's not funny."
Beal further explained his stance to Yahoo Sports' LaJethro Jenkins, saying Bazemore should "keep it hoops":
The three-time All-Star also made his thoughts on the situation very clear Monday night on social media (warning: NSFW language):
Following Golden State's 119-116 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday, Bazemore told reporters he thought the comment was being taken too seriously and that he wasn't conveying any ill will toward Beal. The veteran wing was also unclear when asked if he'd reach out to Beal personally to smooth things over.
Bazemore said he believes the story will quickly fade into the rearview, thus providing its own resolution.
That's probably true for the most part. The 2020-21 regular season is almost over, and both the Wizards and Warriors have the NBA play-in tournament to worry about as they hope to qualify for the playoffs. Golden State is already assured of a play-in spot, while Washington has a 2.5-game lead on the 11th-place Chicago Bulls.
However, there's no question that whenever Bazemore and Beal meet on the court again, Bazemore's verbal jab will be a part of the story. The 31-year-old better hope he doesn't become this generation's LaBradford Smith.