The timing is certainly interesting. While the Wizards are conducting a search for their next head coach, star guard Bradley Beal is getting firsthand experience playing for one of the best NBA coaches of all time, Gregg Popovich.
Popovich is leading Team USA as they hold training camp for the Olympics and Beal is on the roster. So, he's getting to see up close and personal what makes Popovich a Hall of Fame motivator.
Beal explained what impresses him about Popovich in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.
"It's so crazy, like you hear about how great he is, but he's really great. He is a really good coach, man. He's a great communicator, he's a great leader, he understands us. Like, he's a players coach and he's intense. He gives you everything. He can be cool, he can laugh with you. He can be serious, he can be firm with you, he can be mad at you, but it won't carry over," Beal said.
Beal has played for two head coaches in his NBA career; Randy Wittman and Scott Brooks. Both led the Wizards to the playoffs multiple times and helped oversee Beal's development. Both have had success as NBA head coaches.
Popovich, though, is arguably one of the best to ever do the job. He has five championships while coaching the San Antonio Spurs and has led countless teams to the postseason, even as the roster has changed over the years.
Beal believes there is a reason why the Spurs play so well as a team.
"Pop, he's amazing. He has the same standard for everybody, whether it's [Kevin Durant] or it's me, whether it's Jayson [Tatum], Dame [Lillard] or Zach [LaVine]; whoever it is, it's the same. If you mess up, I'm on your butt. Draymond [Green], me and you, we've gotta be on the same page," Beal said from Las Vegas on a media tour for Rockin' Protein.
"He's perfect, man. He's an awesome coach to be around and his energy, his intensity, it just trickles down to everybody. It's contagious. It's contagious to the rest of the coaches, contagious to us. It's a great atmosphere, for sure."
The Wizards aren't going to be able to hire someone as accomplished or experienced as Popovich, of course. But the same positives that Beal sees in him could be applied to the Wizards' coaching search, in that they help form Beal's expectations for what makes a good coach.
Beal is also expected to give his feedback on the search soon, as he told NBC Sports Washington. Maybe the Wizards can find the next Popovich.