Jalen Smith reminds every Wizards fan how old they are originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
John Wall and Bradley Beal are by no means old. They aren't old by society's standards and even by the relative standards of age in the NBA. Wall is 30 and Beal is 27. They each should have plenty of career ahead of them.
But there is another way to look at their tenure in Washington. Wall was drafted 10 years ago and Beal joined the organization eight years ago. And, just consider this: they have now been in the NBA long enough to be childhood memories.
We were reminded of that on Thursday as Maryland big man Jalen Smith held a pre-draft interview with the media ahead of next week's 2020 NBA Draft. Smith grew up in the D.C. area and has been watching Wall and Beal play for the Wizards... since he was a kid.
"I grew up watching John Wall all the time. I grew up watching Bradley Beal," he said.
Sorry to remind readers of their age, but that's where we are now. Smith turned 20 in March and was only nine years old when Wall was drafted in June of 2010. He was 11 when Beal was drafted by the Wizards.
Now, he could be their teammates. Smith has interviewed with the Wizards during the pre-draft process and happens to be the type of player they need. He can protect the rim and rebound. He also is considered a first-round pick with the Wizards holding the No. 9 selection.
"John Wall and Bradley Beal, I mean obviously they are great players," Smith said. "I feel as though they are great guards and I was always able to play with great guards. Just being in college and playing with Anthony [Cowan]. I feel like that could transcend over to the NBA, being able to learn from them."
Smith teamed up with Cowan to win Maryland their first Big 10 regular-season title in 2019-20. Smith averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 36.8 percent from three.
Smith revealed earlier this year that he grew up a Lakers fan despite being in the Washington area and paying attention to the Wizards. Still, it will probably be a strange feeling playing in an NBA game with Wall and Beal, either as their teammate or opponent, for the first time, having watched them since he was in elementary school.