Jayson Tatum had the privilege of spending one season under one of the greatest basketball coaches in history.
And then he went to the NBA.
The 20-year-old star spent one season at Duke under legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski before heading the professional ranks and being tutored by another brilliant basketball mind: Brad Stevens.
The Boston Celtics head coach has skyrocketed up the ranks of the NBA’s most-respected coaches, despite not getting the respect from his peers that he deserves.
After spending a year under both Coach K and Stevens, Tatum noted some similarities between the two leaders, as well as one noticeable difference.
“They are both very, very good coaches,” the Celtics rookie said, via Celtics.com. “Coach K is a lot more animated. He yells a lot more. Brad is a lot more reserved and laid back. But I think the thing about both of them is how they connect with their players. Brad being so young and Coach K being so old and being able to connect with 18-year-olds, and that’s why a lot of kids go to Duke.”
Krzyzewski has been known to send his suit jacket a few rows into the crowd when the Blue Devils aren’t playing the hard-nosed defense he demands of his players. But Coach K’s fire and intensity have helped Duke capture five national championships so far and the Blue Devils will be among the favorites to cut down the nets in 2019.
Stevens, at age 40, is a basketball genius who has gotten the most out of nearly every player to come through 100 Legends Way over last five seasons and just guided including guiding a young C’s squad to within a game of the NBA Finals.
The Celtics head coach also is thought by some to be a perfect successor to Krzyzewski. While we’re sure those at Cameron Indoor Stadium love the thought of a seamless transition between the two, Stevens is focused on a bright future in Boston and what should be a successful career in the NBA.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images