Suns Bradley Beal threw a tantrum after a new sensation in the NBA, 16-year-old Cooper Flagg, from Nokomis Regional High School, humiliated him by defeating him in a one-on-one match, but there is a plot twist.
If you haven’t heard of Cooper Flagg, you soon will. He’s a 6’8″ five-star recruit who currently ranks #2 in the 2025 recruiting class (according to ESPN). As a freshman at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Maine, Cooper averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks en route to earning a roster spot on the 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team. Nicknamed “The Next Larry Bird” and “Larry Bird 2.0,” the 16-year-old has since transferred to Montverde Academy, where he is already being touted as one of the most elite defenders in high school basketball. Last year, Cooper went head-to-head with the top recruit from his class, Cameron Boozer (Carlos Boozer’s son), on two separate occasions when their teams faced off. Each prospect led their squad to a victory. Cooper averaged 19.5 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists in both contests against the “2023 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.”
"That one was fake though. Me and Bradley Beal never played 1-on-1. I got no beef with Brad."
Montverde Academy star Cooper Flagg clears out rumors that he beat and trash-talked Bradley Beal at Jayson Tatum's camp.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 5, 2023
According to reports, Cooper recently crossed paths with NBA All-Star Bradley Beal at the Jayson Tatum Elite (Basketball) Camp in St. Louis, where the young phenom reportedly “cooked” the Phoneix Suns’ combo guard in a game of one-on-one all while giving him an earful. The spirited matchup was witnessed by former Boston Celtics’ big man, Brian Scalabrine, who admitted during an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio that after he saw Beal get “busted” by the “Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Player of the Year,” the NBA veteran started “cussing him out.” Although Beal has denied the report, the incident sounds strikingly similar to old stories of Larry Bird during exchanges with his opponents on the court back in the 1980s.
Cooper Flagg recently competed in the “Nike EYBL Peach Jam” in South Carolina.
Every grown athlete should be elated to see a young one aspiring to do greater than them, being bitter about a teenager is insane, especially if you have nothing to prove anymore. Beal would have been thrilled if his kid was doing that well.