Bradley Beal is still deciding on whether or not he'll participate in the NBA's restart in Orlando, but the Washington Wizards star says he isn't "swayed, one way or another," according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.
"We stopped playing basketball because of COVID-19. We didn't stop because of social injustice," Beal told reporters Wednesday on a video call, according to The Athletic's Fred Katz. "And I feel like we still can raise awareness by playing basketball. ... But I get it from both sides of those who think it's a distraction. I don't think it is."
The two-time All-Star added that he's working out and preparing as if he'll suit up when league play resumes, according to Katz, but the rising number of coronavirus cases in Florida hasn't been lost on Beal and his teammates.
"We see the rises, we see the guys on different teams, different sports, getting diagnosed with COVID. It's a little scary," Beal said, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
Beal's absence would make the Wizards' playoff pursuit even tougher after Latvian sharpshooter Davis Bertans opted out of participating. The 27-year-old Beal is the NBA's second-leading scorer (30.5 points per game) and is averaging a career-high 6.1 assists.
Washington holds a 24-40 record and sits 5 1/2 games back of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic. The Wizards would force a play-in tournament for the Eastern Conference's final postseason berth if they are within four games of the No. 8 spot at the conclusion of the league's "seeding games."