LAS VEGAS — Former Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski dropped in on Wednesday’s workout and sought out Celtics forward Jayson Tatum for a post-practice chat.
Krzyzewski, who coached Tatum in his lone season at Duke, pulled Tatum aside after the session and Boston’s 21-year-old forward raved about the brief pep talk.
"It’s great. It’s like old times,” said Tatum. "That’s my guy, I’m happy to say. I’m happy he’s here. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. I talk to him often, but always a pleasure to see Coach.
"The more experience, the more time I get with Coach -- I only got a year with him. I’m always thankful to have him when he’s around.”
What sort of advice did Coach K offer?
"That is confidential, between me and him,” Tatum playfully bellowed, eliciting laughter from reporters. "But it was good.
"Everything he tells me, he means well. He just wants me to do better and be better. He’s a G.O.A.T., so I always listen to what he has to say."
Krzyzewski turned down media requests while visiting with Team USA. Celtics coach Brad Stevens came over to say hello while Tatum and Krzyzewski were chatting and jokingly told Coach K, "Yell at [Tatum] as much as you can, that way I don't have to.”
Stevens, watching his first practice of the week, offered high praise for what he saw from Tatum in Wednesday’s workout.
“I think he’ll benefit greatly from [the Team USA experience] and I saw it today,” said Stevens. "I thought today was one of his better practices that I’ve watched.”
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