CHICAGO — Talent alone has not gotten Jayson Tatum to where he’s at now in the NBA.

At every stage of his development, there have been lessons learned from sage veterans who have in some way contributed to his steady progress.

So it’s no surprise that one of the biggest takeaways for Tatum during All-Star Weekend was taking away as much knowledge as he could from more seasoned All-Stars. 

Among them was Chris Paul, a 10-time All-Star who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder and was instrumental in Team LeBron’s 157-155 win over Team Giannis in Sunday’s All-Star Game. 

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During the practice session prior to Sunday’s game, the two had an animated conversation that eventually included Paul walking Tatum through how he at 6-foot, was able to defend Tatum — eight inches taller — when the Thunder and Celtics met prior to the All-Star break. 

NBA.com/stats shows that Tatum was 2-for-4 shooting when defended by Paul, with six points coming on a pair of 3's. 

But what doesn't show up in the numbers was how Paul was able to prevent Tatum from posting up, something Tatum talked to Paul about during their All-Star practice session. 

It was the kind of exchange that speaks to Tatum's willingness to learn from those around him, and only adds to the narrative about Paul this season as a player who not only continues to play at a high level but is open to helping the next generation of NBA greats to improve their overall games as well. 


For Tatum, all of the veteran All-Stars were more than open to providing a few tips about their game. 

“It’s real cool, especially coming from Chris,” Tatum, who had six points for Team LeBron, told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s been a really good player for a really long time; I’m trying to be like that, too.”

Tatum said he has known Paul dating back to when he was in high school, which is when one of Tatum’s best friends and former Duke teammate Harry Giles played for Paul’s AAU team. 

But as cool as Paul was in discussing how he defended Tatum, there are still parts of Paul’s game Tatum already knows he won’t divulge. 

“He didn’t show me everything,” Tatum said, grinning. “But he showed me a couple things. I’m gonna try and use that next time we play.”

This Friday is Jayson Tatum Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Tatum throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Celtics-Timberwolves.