Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
On Thursday night, Beal was revealed to be the Eastern Conference’s leading vote-getter among guards, coming in with 3,485,051 million fan votes. Beal also received 161 player votes and appeared on 81 media ballots, the most among Eastern Conference guards as well.
As Beal’s averaging a league-high 32.8 points per game this season—along with 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game—his status as an All-Star should have never been in question. However, with the nine-year veteran averaging a then career-high 30.5 points per game in the 2019-20 season and failing to garner an All-Star nod, anything felt possible.
Fortunately, the fans—and everyone else—got it right this time in recognizing Beal’s stellar performance, which deserves praise regardless of the performance of his team.
Following the announcement that he was named an All-Star starter—alongside perennial All-Stars Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo—Beal would express his gratitude, telling reporters “it is truly an honor to be selected to start in the All-Star Game for the first time in my career.”
“I was completely thrown off by [being No. 1 in the fan vote],” Beal says. “It was crazy. I don’t even know if I reached a million votes last year.”
For the record, Beal received just 805,276 fan votes for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
“It brought me back down to Earth,” he admits.
Beal is now set to make his third All-Star appearance, with the All-Star Game set for March 7 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA.