Bradley Beal talked about his excitement for experiencing the London crowd and how the addition of Dwight Howard to the Wizards will benefit them.
Q: What are your expectations for the team this season and do you think you can challenge for the Eastern Conference?
A: Yes, we can challenge for the Eastern Conference. I think that’s our goal, to get to the Eastern Conference Finals for one and advance to the Finals, just as every other team. I definitely feel we have the pieces to do so. But at the end of the day we still have to go out and prove ourselves.
What can the addition of Dwight Howard provide the team?
His physicality, a rim protector, a lob threat. All things that we haven’t had probably since I’ve been here. It’s nice to be able to have that. He’s a vet. He’s an All-Star. He’s, in my opinion, a Hall of Famer. He’s a great specimen. He’s somebody you have to respect on both ends of the floor.
How comfortable is the team playing small with Jeff Green or Markieff Morris as the five?
Very, very. It makes it easier for us on both ends of the floor. Especially multiple sides we can switch. Our communication is easier. Transition offensively is position-less basketball. So, we’re not so concerned about guys being in spots. Everything is interchangeable and I think that kind of creates havoc on the other end — on both ends. You don’t necessarily see 2s and 3s playing the 3 and 4 positions or 4s and 5 position and we mix it all in.
How excited are you about traveling to London to play in front of a British crowd and in a different country?
Unbelievably excited. For one, it will be my first time in London, in the UK. I’m definitely looking forward to that. I’m excited about that. I think I’m more happy that they speak English, I don’t have to worry about any barriers [laughs]. I heard the fan base is awesome, whether it is basketball are even football over there. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
What do you expect from the crowd?
To be loud. Be loud and energetic. They said tickets go on sale this week. That’s exciting in itself. I feel like basketball and the NBA is global now and it’s taking over the world. I feel like it’s the best sport on the planet. I’m looking forward to it. I know the fan base over there is crazy. Whether they’re Knicks fans or Wizards fans, we’re appreciative of their support.
What would you say to any fan thinking about getting tickets?
Whenever I step onto the floor, I always play hard because there’s somebody who’s never seen me play before. Or maybe it’s their first time in person. I always try to leave a great impression on people and come into the gym and give it my all. I feel like our team tries to do the same thing. I feel like this is almost a once-in-a-lifetime type thing. Teams don’t get to travel every year and not everybody gets to play at this level. For us to be able to do it and be able to take it overseas to where they don’t have a team, I think it’s amazing on both parts.
Tickets for the NBA London Game 2019 will go on general sale Friday, Oct. 19 at 9am (BST) at www.axs.com/nbalondon.