Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum have ascended so far in their basketball careers that they each started the NBA All-Star Game in March. That was many years after they grew up as childhood friends in St. Louis, Mo.
On Tuesday, they will do something they have not done before and that is square off in the postseason. Tatum was not yet in the NBA back in 2017 when the Celtics beat Beal and the Wizards in a second-round series.
After Monday's practice, Beal shared his expectations for the matchup, which will pit the No. 7 Celtics against the No. 8 Wizards in the postseason.
"We’re very competitive. That’s my brother at the end of the day. We love each other when we step off the floor. When step in between the lines, he plays for Boston and I play for Washington. We’re still brothers, but we compete," Beal said.
"We both want to win. We’re both playing at high levels now. It’s always fun. I’m always his biggest fan watching him grow in the league. To see his strides and where he’s going, but I’m definitely excited about my team and where we are."
Beal, 27, is four years older than Tatum, who is 23. They both starred at Chaminade High School, though they weren't teammates because of the age difference.
They remain close friends to this day, now as two of the best scorers in the NBA. Beal was second in the NBA and led the Eastern Conference this season with 31.3 points per game. Tatum was 10th in the league, averaging 26.4 points.
On Tuesday, they will play against each other with higher stakes than ever before.