Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is one of the few active players in the NBA who learned some tricks of the trade from Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. The Hall of Famer was a mentor to the rising star, and he hasn’t forgotten the sage advice he received from the five-time NBA champion.
Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Tatum opened up about wearing Bryant’s No. 10 jersey for Team USA and one thing in particular that remains fresh in his mind from talking with the former Lakers superstar, via Sports Illustrated:
“I remember one talk, it might have been after a game, and he was saying that a lot of people won’t understand what you do,” Tatum said. “He said, ‘What I mean by that is, the ones that really want to be great and really want to be special really take that whatever-it-takes mentality.’ He told me it takes sacrifice, because the ultimate question is about how much are you willing to give up to be great.”
Kyrie Irving, Devin Booker, and Tatum are three of the best players today who idolized Bryant and had a personal relationship with the late great NBA iconic. While Tatum is preparing to honor Bryant with the No. 10 jersey as a member of Team USA, Booker is trying to win his first title with the Phoenix Suns while sporting the words “Be Legendary” on his shoes, which Bryant told him to use as sort of a mantra throughout the rest of his career.
Bryant’s fingerprints are still all over the NBA and will be for generations to come. He inspired countless players, and his legacy will live as they continue to use his advice as a driving force and motivation to be the best players they can be.
LeBron and Anthony Davis won’t be playing for Team USA
Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis have elected not to join fellow NBA stars on Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise with both players having battled injuries throughout the 2020-21 campaign. James and Davis taking some time off and actually having an offseason is a wise decision in order to be 100 percent for the start of the 2021-22 NBA season in October.