Tatum's USA Olympic basketball jersey number honors Kobe


The jersey numbers for the United States men's Olympic basketball team have been revealed, and the one given to Jayson Tatum holds a special meaning for the Boston Celtics star.

Here's a look at the jersey numbers for each player on the roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Tatum will wear No. 10.

Why is No. 10 special to Tatum? It's the number his idol, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, wore for Team USA during Olympic competition.

“With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value,” Tatum said, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “It’s not something I take lightly.”

Tatum also called getting No. 10 a "tremendous honor" and that he'll "wear it proudly."

Ime Udoka already building chemistry with Tatum on Team USA

The Celtics star is no stranger to representing his country during international tournaments, but this will be his first appearance at the Olympics. 

He figures to be a key player in Team USA's chances of winning a fourth straight gold medal. It's unknown whether Tatum will be in the starting lineup for head coach Gregg Popovich, but either way, the 23-year-old forward's excellent scoring ability and defensive versatility will make him a valuable part of the team.

Tatum scored a career-high 26.4 points per game for the Celtics during the 2020-21 season. He also was selected to the All-Star Game for the second consecutive year.

The experience of playing high level basketball with other great players on the Olympic stage should be fantastic for Tatum's development.