Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum have been friends since they were kids in St. Louis, and it's easy to see how thrilled they are about playing alongside each other at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this month.
"We're both excited. For one, we grew up five minutes from each other. To have two guys from the same high school on the same team, I don't know if that's ever happened in USA Basketball," Beal said during a Team USA press conference Wednesday.
"We're excited about it. Even growing up we've never been on the same team, ever. This is definitely exciting for both of us. I'm happy about his growth (as a player). I'm excited to see him on global stage as well as myself. And everybody -- we have a really good team. But Jayson and I have a special relationship, and I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be exciting. The ultimate thing is getting that gold medal."
The friendship between Tatum and Beal has been well-documented for a while, and their bond will continue to be a story as long as Beal's future with the Wizards' is uncertain.
Beal is entering the final year of his contract, and there's been rumors and speculation over the last few years about the potential of him joining Tatum on the Celtics.
The Olympics is a great place for players to recruit each other, and when asked during Wednesday's presser about recruiting, Beal admitted there could be a bunch of that talk over the next couple weeks.
The United States is the overwhelming favorite to win its fourth consecutive gold medal in Olympic men's basketball. Beal and Tatum should be key contributors in that quest.