“I’m taking absolutely nothing away from [Carmelo], but the process of it does not make sense,” Beal told reporters Thursday, according to The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner. “If they reward winning, then I don’t understand how the decision was made. It was kind of weird to me.”
Love is expected to miss six weeks to undergo knee surgery, and the NBA announced Anthony would play in place of the Cavaliers big man, replacing one forward with another. But while Anthony is averaging 23.4 points per game this season, his Knicks are reeling, sitting 11 games below .500 with a 7-21 record since Christmas.
The Wizards are third in the Eastern Conference with a 34-21 record, and Beal’s 22.2 points per game on 40.2 percent three-point shooting is a major piece to the team’s success.
Moreover, the Eastern Conference reserves were selected by coaches and announced on Jan. 26. Commissioner Adam Silver chose Love’s replacement by selecting the remaining player with the next-most coach votes, and that was Anthony. It’s a tactic he has used in previous seasons, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt.
But since the reserves were announced, Washington is 8-1 and Beal is averaging 24.3 points on 55.3 percent shooting from the field and 45.1 percent from downtown. Anthony averaged 26.3 points per game during that same stretch, but his Knicks went 3-7.
A number of players have publicly supported Beal. Klay Thompson felt the Wizards’ sharpshooter should have initially been named an Eastern Conference reserve.
“I think Brad is very deserving to be an All-Star in the East,” the Warriors’ All-Star told CSN’s “SportsTalk Live” this week. “I think he was kind of snubbed originally. He’s putting up phenomenal numbers. He’s in the driver’s seat with him and Wall. I think, they’re third in the East, so he’s very deserving and it would be cool to see him go.”
Suns forward Jared Dudley, who spent a season playing alongside Beal in Washington, was among those outspoken on social media regarding his snub:
Wow!! @NBA I just found out they choose Carmelo over Bradley Beal for the All Star game! SMH! This is the definition of Politics!— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
The @NBA tells us players that winning matters! Wizards are the hottest team in the NBA! Bradley Beal is healthy and balling! Damn shame— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017