Jayson Tatum surely couldn’t ask for a better group of role models than the one he has in Boston.
In addition to a seasoned veteran like Al Horford, the Celtics’ second-year swingman also has the luxury of playing alongside one of the NBA’s best in Kyrie Irving.
Irving’s leadership skills have been called into question at various points this season, but it seems like the star point guard is doing a fine job with Tatum, in particular.
During a recent sitdown interview with ESPN, Tatum explained how Irving has helped him upon the start of the postseason.
“He’s done a tremendous job. We all know how special he is, especially in the playoffs,” Tatum said. “He’s a great leader. He knows what it takes, obviously — he won a championship. It helps me. Somebody that I admire like that and one day I wanna be at that status. So just watching him, it makes me wanna be more aggressive and assertive and play in big moments.”
Tatum was steady throughout the Celtics’ first-round series against the Indiana Pacers, averaging 15.7 points per game and enjoying a 26-point outburst in Game 2. Confidence seemingly never has been an issue for the 21-year-old, but having Irving in the mix probably puts Tatum more at ease as he matures his game.
As Tatum’s comfort level continues to grow, it only will benefit Boston as it vies for the NBA Finals.