The former Duke Basketball star and rising Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum was seen working out with a big-time rival of his current team.
It might not be a sight that Los Angeles Lakers fans want to see, but it seems future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant has set aside the Lakers – Boston Celtics long storied rivalry to help out a future superstar in the NBA.
Former Duke standout Jayson Tatum finished in third place in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, but Tatum led a short-handed Celtics squad all the way to Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals before they were defeated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers, who is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
It was Bryant’s Lakers that passed on Tatum with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft as they opted to go with the hometown kid and the point guard from UCLA, Lonzo Ball.
Ball had an up and down rookie season but isn’t even in the same conversation as Tatum right now.
Tatum shared images of the workout between the two on his Instagram page as he wore his Duke Basketball shorts.
Tatum’s longtime trainer Drew Hanlan noted on “The Sideline with Evan Daniels” podcast that Bryant questioned why his Lakers drafted Ball instead of Tatum.
Tatum averaged 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists during the regular season for the Celtics while elevating his game to average 18.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in the postseason while playing all but two of the Celtics possible games in the regular season and the playoffs.
The Black Mamba started a series of episodes, Detail, on ESPN+ during the 2018 NBA Playoffs where he broke down game film for a number of players, one being Tatum.
Tatum was truly honored that Bryant selected him to analyze his game tape as Tatum idolized Bryant as a child.
The workout between the two shows that Tatum is committed to improving his game and continuing to get better in a wide-open Eastern Conference and it also shows that Kobe Bryant sees the potential in Jayson Tatum and knows he is one of the best young players in the NBA and had the ability to become one of the best players in the entire NBA.