Celtics’ Jayson Tatum says Kobe Bryant helped him with his post game, mental toughness
Jayson Tatum had an impressive rookie season: 13.9 points and five rebounds a game, 43.4 percent shooting from three, a 15.3 PER, and a strong playoff run that helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Where did he turn to get better this summer? Kobe Bryant.
While a Celtic reaching out to a Laker legend for advice may throw an old-timer off, there are few better students of the game than Kobe, let alone ones as well respected by a generation, a guy who can get through to them. Tatum worked out with Kobe and was clearly excited about it speaking to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.
Tatum gushed about work out with Kobe. Biggest takeaway? "Maybe a few things he showed me, post moves. But just interacting with him and being able to talk and ask him questions and trying to get into his mind and understand how he thought the game, what he did to be successful."— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) August 18, 2018
Tatum said he's gotten stronger this summer. "That's probably been the biggest focus. I'm still young so it's hard to really just throw on a bunch of extra pounds. But I've definitely gotten a lot stronger. ... I just wanted to get my body right and keep getting stronger."— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) August 18, 2018
A stronger Tatum who can punish mismatches in the post is a scary thing.
Tatum and Jaylen Brown led a real push for the Celtics in the postseason, it will be a bit of an adjustment with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back because the young stars may not get the same number of touches and opportunities. The pie is going to be divided up more ways. With Brad Stevens at the helm we all expect the transition to go smoothly, and for the Celtics to contend for a title, but it is something to watch early in the season.