Pick a category this season and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is probably averaging a career-best in it. Whether it's scoring (23.6 points per game), rebounding (4.4 rpg), passing (3.6 apg), defense (1.2 steals per game) or even free throws made (4.1) and attempted (5.2) per game, Beal has elevated his game.
In the first NBA All-Star 2018 voting results (released last week), Beal was ninth among guards with 71,079, just a shade under 14,000 votes behind the No. 8 man, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. And if you're looking for Beal to hop on social media or make mention of his need for more votes in interviews, well, you've got the wrong guy. Beal spoke with Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post about his conscious decision to not campaign for more All-Star votes from fans:
“If it has anything that says, ‘Vote for me,’ I’m not posting it. I’m just not posting it,” he said this week. “That’s definitely outside of my box. That’s, like, a few boxes over. I feel like that’s kind of being conceited in a way. Not in a negative way, necessarily, but to me that’s just a little bit of conceit. Like, vote for me? I don’t agree with it.”
“I just feel like I shouldn’t have to do that just to get votes,” Beal explained. “My game should speak for itself. I mean, it’s not like we’re running for president . . . We just want to play. That’s all. If the accolades come, they come. And if they don’t? They don’t.”
“I wish I knew,” Beal said, when asked why he isn’t more popular. “It’s a fine line that I don’t necessarily understand.”
Beal, meanwhile, just laughs as he watches his family members and friends vote for him multiple times every day. He has gotten local celebrity endorsements: from Alex Ovechkin, from Ryan Kerrigan. He hasn’t made plans for the all-star break, because he’s hoping to be in Los Angeles for the event. His platform is convincing. Just don’t expect too much from his stump speech.
“At the end of the day, I’m never the type of player who’d ask for votes, or social media blast myself out there or anything like that,” he said. “If you’re a fan, you’re a fan. If not, it is what it is.”