Celtics

Celtics' Jayson Tatum reflects on 'surreal' workout with Kobe Bryant

Celtics

Jayson Tatum has already accomplished plenty in his young NBA career, and there are many more memorable moments to come for the Boston Celtics superstar.

But it'll be difficult for anything to top his unforgettable experience working out with his idol, Kobe Bryant.

Two years ago, the late Los Angeles Lakers legend reached out to Tatum and took him under his wing. Tatum opened up about the amazing opportunity on a recent episode of New Orleans Pelicans guard J.J. Redick's "The Old Man & the Three" podcast.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which begins Monday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

"It started back when we were in the playoffs. Kobe was doing the 'Detail' documentary thing on ESPN," Tatum said. "We were playing Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. We just played Game 1. So we got practice the next day to get ready for Game 2. Come back, sit down at my locker, look at my phone and he would tweet the link out. I saw Kobe tweeted me, I was like 'Oh, [expletive].'

"I literally sat there and watched it like 20 times in a row. He did a 'Detail' of me in Game 1. And then I guess he went through my agent and texted me. He said, 'Young fella, happy for your success. Stay focused. Keep going. If you're in L.A. this summer and you want to work out, just let me know.' I was like, I can't believe it ..."

Tatum even went as far as to call his workout with Bryant the second-best day of his life.

 

"It was just a surreal moment," Tatum said. "Just looking at him, remembering myself when I was a toddler, just a young kid watching him on TV and being like 'That's who I want to be like. This is why I love basketball.' He inspired me.

"Fast-forward, now I'm 20 and I'm having a one-on-one interaction with him ... Besides my son being born, that's like the best day of my life just to be in that gym with him and work out with him and learn some tips. I'll never forget that day, how I felt going into the workout, how I felt afterward. I just felt like that was the coolest thing ever for me. I'll never forget that."

Watch the full clip below:

It's clear Tatum will forever cherish that time spent with his hero. And there's no doubt Bryant would be proud of the player Tatum already has developed into at 22 years old.

Tatum and the Celtics will begin their quest for Banner 18 when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live starting right here on NBC Sports Boston at 5:30 p.m.