Wizards

What’s it Like Being Bradley Beal’s Brother?

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Bryon Beal is not the name I gave myself fantasizing about if I had Bradley Beal’s skill set.

No, Bryon is one of Bradley Beal’s four brothers. There’s younger brothers Bryon and his twin Byron (yep, you read that right), and older brothers Brandon and Bruce. All brothers were college athletes in their own right– Bryon played college football for the Lindenwood Lions, and Brandon and Bruce graced the gridiron at Northern Illinois.

Bryon was kind enough to join me for a brief interview giving some perspective on what it’s like being the brother of a superstar athlete.

https://twitter.com/BigDealBeal99/status/1359211036918886413

Your brother is Bradley Beal. In your own words, what it’s like having a brother at the pinnacle of his profession? 

“Having a brother at the pinnacle like Brad has definitely had its ups and downs for sure. You have your perks of going to the games (pre-Covid) and the ushers knowing you. Your seats are courtside or close to that. You see and meet people you could only imagine meeting. Him being as high up as he is now, you see him talked about on TV a lot and I can sit back and say “I know that guy””    

“When it comes to the downs it gets really difficult. When you’re playing as well as Brad is and your team is losing you get all those questions of trades and where does he wanna go and what does he wanna do. I just tell people I don’t know because I really don’t. We don’t talk about that at all. Whatever he decides to do I’ll support it 110%.”

“You then also have people that want to join your circle and befriend you because of your relation to him. So it becomes hard to decipher whether or not they like you for you and not what you can do for them. The attention is nice at times but you never truly know what people’s real intentions are. That’s a real downside.” 

I know you guys all played college sports, lot of athletes in the family growing up…when did it become clear though that Bradley was gonna be the best of the bunch and how did that change things? 

“That’s hard to say, maybe when Brad was a sophomore in high school. Brandon and Bruce were still great athletes and both had high chances of being in the NFL. When we were young Brad and I had an argument about who was better. We were coming back from one of Brad’s basketball practices when he was playing with Team St. Louis. He told me that he was better at basketball than I was at football. Around that time I was playing runningback, O-Line and D-Line. Deep down inside I knew he was right but I couldn’t let him know that. So for me it was a young age but when I was ready to admit, I’d say his sophomore year.” 

https://twitter.com/BigDealBeal99/status/1359191046933069831

As someone who was around Brad a lot & had the pleasure of rebounding for him for hours on end in DC, I saw firsthand what an incredible worker he is. Do any stories stand out growing up alongside him where you just realized how hard he was willing to grind? 

“Too many to list and count. Our mom made him go to the gym days on end. Byron, my twin, playing 2-on-1 against him and beating him up and playing rough. He could’ve gave up and said he didn’t wanna play basketball anymore but he didn’t because he wanted it that bad. He wore his strength shoes to help him jump higher. He shot until his arm fell off. He practiced against us for when teams were forced to double team him.”

Is any part of being “Bradley’s brother” challenging? Ie, I’d imagine like most brothers you all get competitive at times. Is it ever hard seeing the level he’s ascended to, & thinking “why couldn’t I have been blessed with a basketball body?” 

“Oh man YES!! But god blessed us tremendously with all the athleticism to do and play anything we wanted. Growing up my twin and I loved football more than anything. We then grew to love basketball a lot more. Byron and I were always the bigger ones on our teams and it was instilled in us that football was the best way to go.”

“There are times Byron and I take our imaginary time machines and go back to make our main focus basketball and then football as Brad’s was. We think about playing varsity basketball as freshmen and Brad a junior with a starting lineup of Bryon at PG, Byron at SG, and Brad at SF– 3 Beals playing on the court at the same time.”

“We probably would’ve trained with the GOAT trainer himself Drew Hanlen as well and taken our talents to a higher level. We win high school championships 3+ years in a row. Jump forward to college, maybe Brad stays and waits for us to play with him in college before entering the draft. What if we all entered the draft at the same time?? Those are the things we think about a lot.” 

I know you don’t speak for Brad, & it seems like – correct me if I’m wrong – he trusts you, he trusts family, Kamiah, etc – to be on social media, to be their own people – but to obviously make clear you don’t speak for him & you’re just someone who obviously wants to see him win that happens to also be his brother. Is that generally right? 

“Yeah he trusts us to be ourselves but at the same time we all know we don’t want to do or say anything that the media can take and use against him. No I do not speak for him nor would I ever try to. Yes I want to see him win. Winning is fun. We grew up as winners in sports. There were so many first place trophies and medals in our house.”

Obviously the Wizards haven’t had the start to this season many were hoping for. Again obviously not speaking for Brad, what are your thoughts on the state of the franchise? Can the Wizards make the playoffs as currently constructed? 

“Personally I think the franchise is still in good hands. They are doing what they can with what they have. It’s only a matter of meshing. This goes for making the playoffs as well. I truly believe if this team had a true training camp, summer league, and no COVID then they would for sure be a top-five NBA team.”

“Now can this team still make the playoffs?? Yes!! They are figuring out each other’s game. Russ really looked healthier against the Nets than he did all year. The signing of Alex Len is one I loved the most. I truthfully liked him when he entered the draft in 2013. He gives me a bigger and younger Gortat feeling. It’s a matter of consistency with the Wizards. We know they can score with the best of them but defending is something they need to prove they can do on a nightly basis.”

Mo money mo problems. Obviously money can be incredibly toxic & has a well-documented history of ruining relationships, destroying families, etc. How do you deal w that aspect of it? I’m sure Brad has helped out family some but I’m sure he also has to juggle not just “handing” luxury to everyone. How do you think he’s handled that part & have you all been able to mostly not let money change your relationship? 

“It’s very cliche for people to say when they get money they never change who they are but they’d be wrong. You’d be dumb to make money and never change. You have to be smarter with what God has blessed you to have. My family is full of prideful people and I mean very prideful. We want to make it on our own, under our own names and not because we are related to Brad.” 

“Brad is really a smart person. He wasn’t the NBA player that got drafted and bought his two parents and siblings cars and a house right out the gate. He made sure he saved during that first contract because at any given moment basketball could’ve been taken away. Through the blessings of God he was able to earn a second contract after his rookie one and then bought our mom the house she had her eyes on.” 

“Our relationship hasn’t changed at all. We are still close to one another even being thousands of miles away. We are all still the goofiest and funniest set of brothers you can come by.”

10-15 years from now at the end of his career: how is Bradley Beal remembered? 

“10-15 years from now [Bradley] is seen as arguably a top-five SG to ever play the game. He is seen as one of the purest scorers with a high FG percentage. He is seen as a 3x NBA championBradley Beal will be a Hall of Famer. 

How do you keep Brad humble? I know he’s a guy that doesn’t want to hear how great he is, wants to hear what he needs to hear, not what he wants. Does that come from you and the brothers?

“Honestly we don’t keep him humbled. He does that on his own. But when we were all young our parents definitely taught us to be humble. We are a religious family and we were always taught to be humble because your gift, your specialty, even your life can be taken away from you in a heartbeat. Sometimes I wish he’d take the Michael Beasley approach and flat out tell players on the court and people in the media “I’M HIM.” But I know he would be considered arrogant and we don’t want that at all.”

Rapid fire. Quickly describe:

John Wall

“Great guy. The flash.”

Scott Brooks 

“Nice guy, smart.”

Tommy Sheppard 

“Smart, funny. Potentially a teacher (I want to be a GM someday)” 

Russell Westbrook 

“Have fun and gives his all.”

The Beal Family 

“Better shooters than any other family. Funniest family and needs a reality show.”

Your basketball/football ability 

“Basketball: I’ve secretly beat Brad in a 3PT contest at Chaminade some years ago. I help shooters out at Lindenwood with their game here and there.”

“Football: recovering from ACL surgery, but will try to play in XFL when it’s up and running again.”

Image via Twitter/@BigDealBeal99

Image via Twitter/@BigDealBeal99

Bryan Oringher (@ScoutWithBryan) is the host of a new Wizards-focused podcast called Scout the Wiz, debuting soon.

About Bryan Oringher

Bryan Oringher spent the past 7 years working in the NBA. From 2013-17 he was the Head Video Coordinator with the Washington Wizards, and in 17-18 he did Regional Advance Scouting for the Raptors and Hawks. This year, he’s doing NBA analysis on Twitter @ScoutWithBryan and his YouTube channel. You can find all his content to date here.

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