After growing up together in St. Louis, both Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal will represent the United States in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Despite knowing each other since childhood, the recent NBA All-Star Game was the first time the Boston Celtic and Washington Wizard played together on the same team, if you count that. Representing their country together will be another opportunity.
“We grew up five minutes from each other. And, you know, to have to have the same guys, from the same high school, on the same team, I don’t know if that’s ever happened for USA Basketball,” Beal on Thursday said after a practice for the national team, via NBC Sports Boston.
“We’re excited about it. Even from growing up, we’ve never been on the same team. Ever. In pick up, we’re never on the same team, you know, so this is, this is definitely exciting for both of us. I’m happy about his growth. I’m excited to see him on a global stage just as well as myself and everybody. We have a really good team but you know Jayson and I have a special relationship, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Of course, Tatum and Beal playing together provides a chance for the rest of the world to speculate on if duo will join forces in the NBA one day. There has to be a ton of player recruiting going on in Tokyo, right?
“I don’t know. I mean, probably a lot,” Beal told reporters when asked if members of USA Basketball were getting involved with a little tampering while trying to win a gold medal.
“Depends on who’s a free agent or not but for the most part, we don’t, we can’t mix that in right now. We’re focused on one goal at hand and that’s bringing back the gold medal. And, you know, granted, we all have our respective individual goals and talents once this is done.”