Will the tips Jayson Tatum received from his idol propel him into the NBA’s stratosphere?
Justin Tatum, father of the Boston Celtics forward, told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach on Tuesday he expects his son’s workout with Kobe Bryant to drive his improvement as a player. The late-July workout was perhaps the highlight of Jayson Tatum’s offseason, given the fact the Los Angeles Lakers legend is his favorite player.
NBA partisans have problems with Bryant working out with the Jayson Tatum, but Justin Tatum believes the unique experience will have a similar impact on his son’s game as a thousand coaching sessions with someone else.
“We had over an hour, hour-and-a-half conversation,” Justin Tatum said. “He was like a kid in the candy store. It was like he was 20 years old going back to 12, or even 9.
“It was just good to hear your son on the other end meet his idol, talk to his idol, and hear his idol say a lot of good things about him. It just gives him more drive. That’s just more fuel to a kid that’s already ready to go. It was a blessing to hear how happy he was.
“… It’s surreal, but I mean it’s more that I’m happy that it’s something more to keep him going and keep challenging him, because some players stop being challenged. He’s just finding way more things to do to get better.”
Tatum averaged 13.9 points, 1.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds over 80 regular-season games during his stellar rookie campaign. He put up better numbers during his playoff performances, which impressed Bryant enough for him to critique his game from afar on an episode of “Details.”
If the saying “father knows best,” actually is true, Celtics fans will be thrilled with what Tatum will do next season.
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