Veteran NBA coach Gregg Popowich heaps praises of Wizards star Bradley Beal during the training camp of the 2021 Olympics.
USA basketball recently announced its 2021 Olympic roster. The USA men’s basketball team has won a medal in all the 18 Olympics they have competed in, which includes 15 gold medals, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals.
Wizards star Bradley Beal made his way in the 12 man USA men’s Olympic roster that is to be held in Tokyo this year. This marks the St Louis native’s first Olympic appearance.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 28, 2021
Beal had a great 2020-21 NBA season, as he finished second behind Stephen Curry in scoring this year. The Wizards star was named All-NBA Third Team and was also a starter for the first time in the All-Star game this year.
The Wizards star averaged a career-high 31.3 PPG this season, which is the sixth-highest scoring average in the last 10 years and the second-highest in franchise history. Beal had thirty-four games with 30+ points and eight games with 40+ points this season.
Gregg Popowich, who is known to be one of the best coaches of all time in the NBA, was mightily impressed with Beal’s game during the tryouts leading to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Coach Pop is surprised at how thick Bradley Beal is
The 3x coach of the year was quoted saying, “He’s stronger than I expected. He’s a strong young man. I always used to think of him as wiry and thin, but I was totally wrong. He’s thick.”
The Spurs coach further added, “His movement. He is hard to keep up with. 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, he can pull up and shoot the shot.”
“He can shoot the three. He can back cut and leave you in the dust. His movement really informs his shooting if you think about the space that he creates because of his stop, start, stop, start, and ability to catch, go up and knock down the shot. That shooting ability along with his excellent footwork, I think is the most impressive thing about him.” Popowich said.
Coach Pop, who has coached his entire career in the western conference, has barely gotten a glimpse of the Wizards star, who plays in the eastern conference. The 27-year old Beal is one of the best scorers of recent times.
The 2021 Olympics take place in Japan from 23rd July to 8th August. Twelve nations will compete in the Olympic men’s basketball competition that will be held at the Saitama Super Arena.