Following his team’s 135-128 defeat, Grizzlies veteran big man Joakim Noah expressed his admiration towards Beal, despite admitting his frustration towards the loss.
Joakim Noah on Bradley Beal: “Bradley is one of the best. He’s a Gator boy, so I’m pissed that I lost, but respect. Respect is given because he’s a great player.”
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) March 17, 2019
Both Noah and Beal played for the University of Florida Gators during their college days, with the former representing the university for three years between 2005 and 2007, and the latter, completing his one-and-done year in the 2011-12 season.
Beal was red hot in this one, as he also drained nine three-pointers, grabbed five boards, dished out seven assists, and added a steal and a block on top of his scoring outburst.
For his part, Noah had another noteworthy performance against Washington, scoring 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting off the Memphis bench. The 33-year-old big man also logged eight rebounds, an assist, and one block in 27 minutes of action.
The former Defensive Player of the Year winner has had a bit of a resurgence of late, averaging 11.3 points (on 55.8 percent shooting), 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks in just 22.4 minutes of action over his past 15 appearances for the Grizzlies.
He is a far cry from the former two-time All-Star he once was, but Noah’s recent run has served as proof that he still has what it takes to play at the highest level. The 6-foot-11 center’s current contract with Memphis — a deal that he signed just last December — will expire in the summer, which means that he will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Noah has done well to showcase his current capabilities, so there will likely be more than a few interested teams in him in the summer.