In one of those rare sports mash-ups, the Washington Nationals will play the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series on the same night, and at the same time, that the cities’ NBA franchises meet on the hardwood.

On Wednesday, the Washington Wizards host the Houston Rockets in their home opener. Previously, the Wizards have expressed their solidarity with the Nationals, taking a team photo with every player wearing a red “curly W” hat. Then, ahead of arriving in Washington, the Houston Rockets one-upped this display as players chartered a team plane in Astros jerseys.

The Wizards announced that at the conclusion of their matchup, the arena will show Game 7 on the overhead scoreboard for fans who purchased tickets for Wizards-Rockets.

Though inside Capital One Arena, Wizards all-star Bradley Beal will have his own job to be concerned about against the Rockets’ backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, his fandom will float down to Minute Maid Park — the stage featuring one of his new favorite baseball players, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.

“I love him, man,” Beal said. “I love everything he do.”

Beal tuned into Tuesday’s Game 6 for the Nationals’ 7-2 win (“a butt kicking,” as he described it) and especially enjoyed watching the bravado displayed by Soto. In the fifth inning, Soto sent a home run deep into the night and carried his bat to first base, mimicking the move done by Astros star Alex Bregman earlier in the game.

“I love him carrying that bat to first base, everything,” Beal said. “If they’re going to do that, return the favor: Smack that [expletive] out the park and then you drop the bat right at first base.”

Beal joins teammate John Wall in the Juan Soto fan club. Wall’s baseball tweets consist of him simply typing an elongated version of the 21-year-old’s name, and last week Wall wore a Soto No. 22 jersey. Soto’s popularity with these NBA players certainly has something to do with the unconventional way he plays a traditional game.

While Beal, a former shortstop in his youth, loves Soto, he hates baseball’s stuffy rules about showing emotion. In the NBA, a scream after a dunk or a stare-down after crossing someone over are part of the game. So in that sense, Soto — with his antics in the box and that bat-carrying taunt — has the swag of a basketball player.

“You can’t disagree … with balls and strikes. You can’t really celebrate and taunt like you want to. It sucks, but I’m glad I play basketball,” Beal said. “At the end of day, they’re pro athletes, too. They work on their craft. They get excited. They get emotional about the game, too, so why not let them have some celebrations after they hit a home run? Why not? Let a pitcher do the same thing when he strikes somebody out. I don’t think it’s disrespecting the game.”

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