Beal: 'I'm close to 90% back'
And with the eighth pick in the 2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge...Team Chuck selected...Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who anticipates making his return to real NBA games on Friday.
As part of the NBA All-Star weekend announcements including participants in the dunk, 3-point shooting and Shooting Stars contest, rookies and sophomores were drafted by coach's Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. Beal, third in scoring among all rookies with 13.2 points, was the fourth rookie selected. While a fan vote will determine the starting lineup, Beal will likely be paired with Minnesota's Ricky Rubio, a late addition to the draft pool.
Before revealing his selection, Barkley teased the pick of Beal by saying "the guy I thought was going to be the second best rookie this year." Moments after making the pick, Barkley's on-air collegeuges mildly chided him seeing as Beal missed the previous five games with a sprained right wrist.
Good news for Sir Charles: Beal is back - or at least he expects to be for Friday's game against Brooklyn.
"It's a little better. I think I'm going to play tomorrow," Beal said following Thursday's practice at the Verizon Center. "Still a little pain. Took a long time, but it's healing back and I feel good."
Beal, who estimates his wrist feels around 80-90 percent normal, was put through the paces by the Wizards staff at the practice, something akin to his draft workout with the team back during the summer.
"Doing all type of running, running I haven't even done since High School," Beal said. "It's really hard getting back in shape. Not doing anything for like three or four days, you lose your wind quick."
Beal said there is a chance he could skip the Feb. 15 game in Houston depending on how the wrist feels. "Hopefully I'll be able to have the opportunity. It's a once in a lifetime type thing. Hopefully I'll be healthy."
The first two selections were Portland's Damian Lillard by team Shaq and New Orleans' Anthony Davis by Team Chuck. The complete rosters are listed below.
Also slated to participate in All-Star weekend, Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell, who was announced as a member of Houston guard James Harden's team in the Shooting Stars competition.
Not headed to Houston, Martell Webster. The Wizards small forward is shooting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc, tied for seventh in the league, but as not among the players selected for the 3-point shooting contest.
Lately he has been even better, sinking 13 of 20 (65 percent) over the last three games.
Following Wednesday's win over New York, Webster said about the possibility of an nod, "If they want me to of course, sure. But I'd rather take that time, hang out with my family, relax, try to rehabilitate myself mentally and physically."
Notes...As promised, the complete roster for the Rising Stars Challenge...
Team Shaq -- Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Andre Drummond, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Chandler Parsons, Dion Waiters, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tyler Zeller, Kemba Walker
Team Chuck-- Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, Ricky Rubio, Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Brandon Knight, Isaiah Thomas, Alexy Shved