MIAMI – Bradley Beal has been keeping a secret from Dwyane Wade for all those years.
Beal wears number 3 for a reason.
It is a tribute to his idol.
After their 16th head meeting on Friday night – Miami beat Washington 115-109 – Beal finally gathered the courage to let Wade know how he felt about his game, and then confirmed that he was nervous when he was with the player who wanted to exchange jerseys was nervous wearing No. 3 for the heat.
"I tried not to lose my mind when he gave it to me for the first time, because that's unbelievable," Beal said. "I try not to be a fan, but I'm a fan and I'm a big fan of his game, I'm trying to cancel a bit of his game, this is probably the first time I am," he actually says he is forever a legend. "
Wade has in this 16 and last NBA season jerseys exchanged with players, Beal said he was nervous about asking Wade for his fearing that the answer would be No.
As it turned out, Wade also wanted his jersey – and said he was deeply touched when Beal described him as an idol.
"These moments mean everything," said Wade. "Fan-ovations are great, but to get future players into this league and good players in this league, and to know that she had an influence on her growth Well, that's what you want. It meant a lot. If he said it I thanked him and I hope that I was a good role model for him. "
Wade left Miami for about 1 1/2 of his 16 NBA seasons, playing one season in Chicago before starting in Cleveland last season, Beal still holding him for a Heat Lifer and hinting he has one
"He has paved the way for me," Beal said. "He has paved the way for many of us in today's game, and to see his hard work and play as long as he does did an organization … he meant everything to this city and this team. That's the legacy I have. I want to go too. "
Beal could face Wade once again, the heat visits the wizards on March 23.
" He's one of the best that has ever done, and he's not thrilled, "Beal said in a modest way, and he is still able to do what he does at this age, and it's amazing. Everything he's been through, people are talking about him, but he's still here. He's still competing with the best of us, and I have nothing but respect for him, his game, his heritage he left behind. "