Jayson Tatum channels Mamba mentality with Kobe Bryant tribute in Game 1 shootaround

Jayson Tatum channels Mamba mentality with Kobe Bryant tribute in Game 1 shootaround

In a heartfelt homage to his basketball idol, Jayson Tatum, the star player for the Boston Celtics, arrived at the TD Garden for the pivotal Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks donning the iconic “Kobe Bryant Celtics shirt”.

Tatum’s gesture rekindles memories of Bryant’s fateful encounter with the Celtics prior to the 1996 NBA Draft, a moment deeply ingrained in basketball lore.

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Tatum’s admiration for Kobe Bryant runs deep

Tatum, a fervent admirer of the late Lakers legend, made a poignant statement as he stepped onto the court clad in the same green and white attire once worn by Bryant during his pre-draft workout with the Celtics 18 years ago.

The Celtics’ decision to pass on drafting Bryant, opting instead for Antoine Walker with the sixth pick, remains a pivotal juncture in NBA history.

Bryant’s subsequent ascent to stardom with the Lakers, propelled by his relentless pursuit of excellence, underscores the enduring allure of his legacy.

This is not the first time that the Boston star has worn the same shirt, but this time the message is clear: Tatum is aiming for greatness in the NBA FInals.

Tatum has a history of Kobe tributes in his career.

The All-Star even has a “24” tattoo on his left leg that look like two snakes, an emblem of Bryant’s indomitable “Mamba Mentality.”

The tattoo was a new addition for Tatum after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were the star wore Kobe’s iconic #10 jersey for Team USA.

Tatum and Bryant’s bond was forged through mentorship and mutual respect during the Celtics star’s formative years.

As Tatum embarks on the final hurdle in the Celtics’ quest for an 18th NBA championship, the backdrop of Bryant’s influence adds a poignant layer to the Finals narrative.

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