Jayson Tatum gave a nod to Kobe Bryant in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals when he sported a purple “24” armband.
The Boston Celtics superstar followed suit Saturday, once again saluting his basketball idol one day before Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
The latest tribute for the late Los Angeles Lakers legend was a bit more subtle, however. As Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow pointed out on Twitter, Tatum showed up to Boston’s practice Saturday dressed exactly like Bryant was for his workout for the Celtics in the lead-up to the 1996 draft. And as Snow made clear, the vintage shirt is not one Tatum — or any other Boston player — typically dons for practice.
Perhaps Tatum mirrored Bryant in an attempt to motivate himself for Sunday’s game at Chase Center. While the All-NBA first-teamer was brilliant as a playmaker (13 assists) in the Celtics’ Game 1 win, he only scored 12 points Thursday night. That marked Tatum’s second-lowest point total of these playoffs.
DraftKings Sportsbooks has set Tatum’s Game 2 point total at 26.5. Should the three-time All-Star drop north of that number, the Celtics will be in a good position to notch their second consecutive win over the Golden State Warriors and take a 2-0 series lead in the Finals.