Beal wants to guard Rui Hachimura in Olympics


Bradley Beal will see some familiar faces on opposing teams in Tokyo.

Current Wizards teammate Rui Hachimura plays for Japan, while former Wizards teammates Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely play for the Czech Republic. Isaac Bonga, a free agent this summer, and former Wizards big man Moe Wagner each play for Germany.

So, what will that be like for Beal? Well, as he told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller, he already has his sights set on one thing: Getting those guys as his defensive assignment.

Yes, just like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen famously wanted a piece of Toni Kukoc in the 1992 Olympics, as detailed in ESPN's 'The Last Dance' documentary, Beal wants a piece of them.

"Same thing. I've got Rui, I've got Tomas," Beal said with a smile.

"I seen Moe had a nice little game the other night, too. He was getting hype and you all made it. We'll see y'all in Tokyo, we'll see y'all in Tokyo."

Related: For Beal, playing on Team USA a chance to learn from the best

Beal also mentioned Vesely as a player he knows the U.S. may encounter. Vesely played for the Wizards early in Beal's career before going on to star in the EuroLeague.

Beal may be known more for his offense, but he sees defense as a way he can help Team USA in Tokyo. He is the top scorer in the Eastern Conference, but Team USA has a lot of players who can get points including Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum.


"That's my goal. Everybody can score, scoring isn't going to be the problem. We need to be able to show we can defend. Get in the stance, guard and get out and make plays. We're going to use our length, our athleticism and our pace to really push this thing, but it starts on defense," Beal said.

See more of Chris Miller's interview with Beal Thursday on News4 at 5 and News4 at 6 PM.