Paul Pierce dropped an interesting story from the 2014-15 season he played with the Wizards in an interview with Cari Champion for Uber last week, how when he was with Washington he was surprised at how many players went on their phones at halftime. He noticed it in other stops late in his career as well, that younger players treat the midgame break differently than the older veterans do.
Here is what Pierce said, as transcribed by TruthAboutIt.net:
"I just remember going in at halftime and I'm looking at everybody on their phone and I'm like ‘What is everybody doing on their phone? We supposed to be locking in to the game.' And I'm finding out everybody is on Instagram, everybody is on Twitter. Everybody is finding out what people are saying about them for the first half."
PODCAST: BEAL GOES 1-ON-1 TO TALK LEADERSHIP
When asked this week by NBC Sports Washington, several Wizards players admitted they go on their phone at halftime, but not for the reason Pierce suggested. None of them said they check social media. What they will do is text those they trust to field advice on what they can do in the second half.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I haven't done it before. I've checked my phone before," guard Bradley Beal said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "My mom is probably going off on me about my shot, changing some things. Same with my trainer. If I'm not having a good shooting night, I will see if anybody is watching the game and see if they can tell me something I need to know before I go back out there. But social media I stay off."
"If I'm not playing too well, I will ask my trainer what can I do. Or, I will ask my agent or my best friend," guard John Wall said. "I might text them and ask them what they think I should do."
Markieff Morris will check online boxscores to see how his twin brother Marcus, a forward for the Celtics, is doing. But going on social media and texting people is not his thing.
"If I play s----y, I know I played s----y. I don't need somebody to verify that for me," he said. "[Checking social media] is when you ain't focused. That's when you're worried about your stats and other s--- going on outside of basketball."
Head coach Scott Brooks usually doesn't enter the locker room until 10 minutes after halftime has started. That leaves the players to sit in their chairs or stretch. Some will check film or listen to music. Most will hydrate or eat fruit left at their lockers by the team masseuse.
Some hafltime breaks take on a different vibe when the team is losing. Those 10 minutes are usually silent, but not when one of the team leaders has something to get off his chest.
"Sometimes I will just blow up at halftime or blow up after a game. I'll be the only one talking, like coach won't even talk," Beal said. "There are moments where my emotions are running high and I just let everybody have it. I say we need to be better. I can't necessarily say everything that I say, but you can probably imagine."
Wall, Morris and other veterans over the years have been known to speak up in similar ways, when the team isn't playing to its capabilities. Now a 24-year-old veteran in his sixth season, Beal has taken on that responsibility from time to time.
"I've done it a few times this year like after games, when we lose games, or in games where I feel like we should be playing better," he said. "There are times when I do that and I feel like I have the position and the leverage to do so. I utilize it."
Wall is as outspoken as anyone in the Wizards' locker room. Beal is a bit more laid back. When guys like Beal speak up, Wall says people take notice.
"If a guy is a quiet guy and don't say too much and it's time for him to speak up, then you know it's really bad," he said.
You can listen to Beal's full interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast below. He shares more on his growth as a leader:
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