Bradley Beal: I Didn't Take Kent Bazemore's Hamstring Injury Joke 'Too Fondly'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) gestures before an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

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":

Yahoo Sports @YahooSports

"Keep it hoops. Don't bring my injury into it." @RealDealBeal23 talked to @LaJethroJenkins about why he got into with Kent Bazemore last night 👀 ➡️ https://t.co/vHdgmBC9Fq https://t.co/aX6jTINgcX

The three-time All-Star also made his thoughts on the situation very clear Monday night on social media (warning: NSFW language):

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

@24Bazemore I don’t do the subliminal’s !!!!!!!

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

@24Bazemore you don’t know me or shit about me bruh!!! You don’t know why I go out there and play and it damn sure ain’t for another man’s approval!!! You a straight LAME!!! But it don’t surprise me coming from you, thats what’s yo type do!!

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

@24Bazemore it’s funny you say that because ya mans admittedly checked my numbers before the game, but IM CHASING!!! Shut yo ass up!

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

@24Bazemore 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 https://t.co/deRpNP4xcK

Bradley Beal @RealDealBeal23

He gone find out because I know how to use the @ button @24Bazemore https://t.co/Cr6RROxC1r

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.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Kent Bazemore on the dust up with Bradley Beal today that erupted online: "I guess you can't joke anymore." Full soundbite https://t.co/531rqdunQC

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.