Jayson Tatum grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant as a child in St. Louis. When he was drafted into the NBA by the Boston Celtics in 2017, Tatum shortly emerged as top-of-the-line younger wing scorers within the sport, and Bryant took discover. The Lakers legend took the younger Celtics star underneath his wing, coaching with him within the offseason and analyzing his movie session for Bryant’s ESPN present.
Tatum has continued to do all the pieces he can to maintain Bryant’s legacy alive after his tragic loss of life in Jan. 2020 helicopter crash. Tatum posted an emotional Instagram tribute to Bryant after his passing, and has honored him in delicate methods all through Boston’s run to the NBA Finals this season. Tatum recreated Bryant’s SLAM Journal photoshoot earlier this 12 months, then rocked a No. 24 armband within the Celtics’ Sport 7 win over the Miami Warmth.
Boston took Sport 1 off the Golden State Warriors within the 2022 NBA Finals regardless of capturing 3-17 from the sphere. Forward of Sport 2, Tatum confirmed up carrying some classic Celtics gear to follow. Astute observers observed it was the identical outfit Bryant as soon as wore to his draft exercise with Boston in 1996.
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes wrote a function on Bryant’s draft exercise with the Celtics a number of years again. Bryant was getting into the league out of Decrease Merion Excessive College in Philadelphia, and wowed the Celtics entrance workplace in a personal setting. Boston was reportedly extraordinarily tempted to go along with the excessive schooler with the primary spherical decide, which was No. 6 total, however as an alternative opted for Kentucky Wildcats star Antoine Walker.
Bryant would after all go to Boston’s greatest rival, the Lakers, and win 5 championships with the franchise.
It may appear unlikely for a younger Celtics star to idolize a Lakers legend, however clearly the connection between Tatum and Bryant goes past the rivalry between the 2 groups. We’ll see if Tatum can dwell as much as Bryant’s legacy the remainder of the NBA Finals.
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