Jayson Tatum has proudly represented Boston as a member of the Celtics for the past five seasons, but he also wears his St. Louis heritage proud as well.
Tatum most recently gave a shout-out to Grammy award-winner, and St. Louis native, Nelly, who performed during halftime at Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but Tatum also shares his hometown roots with Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
The All-Star guard was interviewed by Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks on Thursday, and she surprised Beal with a video message from Tatum.
“Without you, it wouldn’t be me,” Tatum said in the video. “You don’t get enough credit, but I’m always giving you the credit. You got to relax, man. You got to chill. Your Beal team, you always cussing out the kids. You got to chill. Naw, you my big brother, man, I appreciate you. You know it’s all love. I’m a see you this summer.”
Tatum and Beal went to the same high school, Chaminade Prep, though not at the same time. Tatum also played for Beal’s AAU team, and they grew up in the same neighborhood. Rooks asked Beal what the message meant to him.
“It’s surreal in a lot of ways,” Beal said as he started to get emotional. “Because for me, I didn?t have that image, per se. To me, my older brother was my favorite player, outside of the (players) in the NBA. So I didn?t have that image of what a pro was like, what recruiting was like. Going through that phase, I?d seen it within my family, so that was my way of learning on the fly.
“It?s funny, he talks about my AAU team, because he was a part of that. It was way before I called it ‘Bradley Beal Elite’ years later. I used to yell at him and chew him out the same way. That speaks volumes of his character and just who he is.”
Tatum and Beal have played together on Team USA and at the NBA All-Star Game. The Celtics star noted in his Game 3 news conference how St. Louis can have a small-town feel, and his connection with Beal exemplifies that.