The United States Men’s National Basketball Team has its sights set on another gold at the Olympics, but as Bradley Beal prepares to make his Olympic debut in a few short weeks, the goal, beyond gold, is also to soak it all in and enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience.
Team USA sits just weeks away from its opening matchup with France to kick off the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, so the next two weeks for Brad and the boys will be centered around getting a roster of stars getting acclimated to playing together as they spend time in the Mendenhall Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for training camp.
“It’s the biggest blessing ever for me individually and then us collectively as a team,” Brad said. “We’re representing more than our names on the back. We’re representing those three letters on the front of our jersey. We understand that’s our goal.”
While the focus has been on working with his teammates as well as the up-and-comers of the USA Select Team, Brad’s also been able to show off his fashionable side in the new USA jerseys during photo day.
Playing alongside some of the NBA’s finest like Kevin Durant, Damian Lilliard, Jayson Tatum and Zach LaVine, Brad is working hard to build off his career year in Washington by putting his skills to the test alongside the best talent possible.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 7, 2021
In the first few days with the team, Brad’s also received rave reviews from head coach Gregg Popovich, who is getting a first-hand look at Brad’s toughness and scoring ability.
“He is hard to keep up with,” coach Popovich said. “Whether he’s coming off of back-picks or he’s running the pick-and-roll or he’s coming off a single, double sort of situation; his balance and his movement both are very impressive. He stops on a dime.”
BB’s also aware of the history he’s making for the Washington Wizards organization as well, as he becomes the first active Wizards player to play for Team USA at the Olympics.
“I’m definitely happy to represent D.C. in that way,” No. 3 said. “Obviously, we’re all representing our respective teams and cities and things of that nature, so I’m definitely honored in that sense.”
With the team getting set for a string five exhibition games beginning on Saturday, July 10 against Nigeria, Brad is on the doorstep of etching his name into USA basketball history as he follows behind some of the all-time greats who also donned the USA jerseys en route to a gold medal.
“You don’t take it for granted. You understand the history behind it, you understand the importance of how everybody wants to beat us,” BB said. “You have that mindset and that understanding in practice. It starts here and then we carry it over into the games. I’m definitely excited about it.”