Feb 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal (3) waves to the crowd while being introduced prior his return to Washington after being traded in the offseason against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Former UF star Bradley Beal Returns to Washington

Bradley Beal Returns

Former Florida Gator Bradley Beal made his first appearance back at Capitol One Arena Sunday night. Beal’s return was an emotional night for him, with mixed feelings from the crowd. The Phoenix Suns guard knew that he had to have a big night against his former team – and he did.

The Phoenix Suns came out victorious against the Washington Wizards, with a final score of 140-112. Beal scored a season-high 43 points in the win with 41 earned in the first three quarters, before coach Frank Vogel benched his starters for most of the final period. As he was pulled with 8:44 remaining in the game, he was met with an ovation from the crowd. The Suns finished the game 61.4% from the field with Beal going 16-of-21.

Washington’s Tribute

Before the game, Beal received a standing ovation during player introductions as well as a video tribute. The video was just over a minute long, and ended with “WELCOME BACK BRAD” written in all capital letters. When his name was called, almost every fan stood for an ovation.

Complicated feelings existed among the fans on the crowd. This is a player who ranks second on the franchise’s career scoring list and heavily contributed to the community during his time with the Wizards.


First Season Without the Wizards

Beal played 11 seasons with the Washington Wizards before being traded to Phoenix the last offseason. He is adamant about the offseason trade being mutual.

“It wasn’t a spiteful or like a disgusting divorce,” Beal said. “It was a good separation. No hard feelings in it.”

Now, Beal is playing alongside a star-studded team with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on the Suns.

While the future with the Phoenix Suns is an exciting one for Beal, this game provided him with a chance to return to his Wizards roots once again.

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