Bradley Beal recalls how a peak LeBron James and his Miami Heat team gave him the ultimate ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment in preseason.
When Beal was drafted by Washington back in 2012 with the 3rd pick of the draft, the power structure of the NBA was very different from what it is today.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were smack in the middle of their 4 years of dominating the East. James was coming off his first NBA championship, gold at London 2012, his 3rd MVP and first Finals MVP.
Clearly, there was an aura around him at the time that no other basketball player has reached since. James’s best years were spent running out in transition and linking up with Dwyane Wade on the fast break.
Beal has a very vivid memory of the first time he played against the reigning world champions at the time. He shared his experience on a recent podcast appearance ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Bradley Beal recalls his Welcome to the NBA moment against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade
Beal was recently on the Q&D podcast by The Players’ Tribune. He talked about his whole basketball journey and revealed a few nice stories from his time growing up with the ‘Ball is Life’ mentality.
As always, Darius Miles started the interview off with his stock first question: Who was the first person to bust yo a**? Beal responded enthusiastically:
“Ooh, that’s easy. My first ‘Welcome to the League’ moment was LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh and that Miami Heat team. So it was a preseason game, but I still considered it my welcome to the league. We played in Kansas City, so you know that’s a home trip for us.”
“I had the whole family there and I’m looking at the stands like ‘Ok, we’re here, we’re here!’ When I say I could get nothing going – for D-Wade, the scouting report says stay down on pump fakes.”
“First thing he does – spin, pump fake right into my ribs. I’m like ‘Ok, yeah this is…you gotta lock in. They’re so good moving the ball left and right, throwing lobs, I’m like ‘Ok, this is real.'”