Wizards backcourt takes in All-Star weekend
Five-time All-Star John Wall and first-time All-Star Bradley Beal had busy All-Star weekends in Los Angeles. Most fans get to see the Celebrity Game, Rising Stars Game, Three-Point Contest, Slam Dunk Contest, and All-Star Game. We take you behind the scenes of some of the other stuff both players were up to during the weekend.
Thursday, February 15
After playing against the Knicks in New York the night before, Wall and Beal made the trek out to Los Angeles in the morning. Before getting too settled, the backcourt went over to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles to make a difference right off the bat.
As part of the NBA Cares Day of Service, Wall and Beal met with cancer patients and their families and played games with them. Both of them regarded the Day of Service as one of the events they were most looking forward to going into All-Star weekend.
"It's an honor - to understand that a lot of people go through a lot of problems and we complete about the little problems that we have," Wall said. "You have to understand and appreciate that any day this can be taken away from you. It's a blessing for me to put a smile on families' faces."
"I feel like I'm not too many years removed from a lot of the kids that we visited," Beal added. "And on top of that, the fact that we can brighten up their day with not even five minutes of their time. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Following the trip to the Children's Hospital, Wall attended a few Adidas events. Beal went to an autograph signing at the Westfield mall in Culver City at Rue 21, meeting fans and taking photos.
Friday, February 16
Wall and Beal were on their own Friday with different appearances. Wall was featured at the big Adidas 747 Warehouse event, along with teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. The event was one of the biggest in L.A. all weekend, with appearances from 2 Chainz, Pharrell Williams, French Montana, Pusha T, and more. There was an East-West basketball game played there on their creative court, a makerlab for shoes, custom t-shirt station, a speaker panel, and more.
Beal had a jam-packed day, starting off with practice for the JBL Three-Point Contest on Saturday. Beal had appearances, sponsored by Tissot, at the Turner Roadshow with trivia and then an interview in L.A. Live right by Staples Center. He then had an interview and photo shoot about fashion with Turner's Allie LaForce at the NBA Crossover space at The Majestic Downtown. Beal finished his busy day with an interview live on ESPN from the Celebrity Game and an hour appearance at then Verizon Hospitality Deck meeting fans and taking photos.
Saturday, February 17
Wall and Beal had the Team LeBron breakfast, photo shoot, practice, and media availability in the morning. The practice is one of the craziest events of the weekend, with a frenzy of fans and media. The players shoot around and run through some drills, while interacting with the fans in-game. Media availability was open to fans for the first time this year, and Wall and Beal spoke to the media for about 20 minutes. Wall gave and update on his injury and what it means to have a voice as an athlete, while Beal talked about his first full weekend as an All-Star and thoughts on the Wizards' play of late.
Wall made another Adidas appearance after media availability, actually taking a helicopter to get there. Beal had a virtual reality appearance with Anthony Davis for Verizon, but then had to get ready for the Three-Point Contest. The Panda then had an interview on the court before his photo session and final shootaround. Beal would have a first round of 15, but unfortunately be eliminated from the Three-Point Contest.
Sunday, February 18
Beal had a Pepsi appearance at the Mountain Dew Kickstart Courside, in which he participated in a photo shoot, interviews, and then graded fans trick shots. Wall and Beal then headed with Team LeBron to the arena for photos, a Make-a-Wish greeting, and of course, the All-Star Game. Beal finished the game with 14 points, including four triples - the most ever by a Wizards player in an All-Star Game.
"That was something that I dreamed of and something that was a goal of mine coming into the year," Beal said. "The appearances and everything were a little overwhelming, being busy all the time, but when I was out there with other guys, that was a remarkable feeling for sure.
"It puts a lot of things in perspective for me. [All-Star weekend] motivates me to get better and continue to be part of this every single year for the rest of my career."