In the 2018 NBA playoffs, a young Jayson Tatum led the Boston Celtics against LeBron James‘ Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The world was watching at the time, even the late, great Kobe Bryant, as Tatum recently revealed on the ‘Point Forward‘ podcast.

The Celtics star revealed that after Game 1 of the series, which the Celtics won, he got countless different notifications, including a peculiar text from an unknown number. Speaking on the topic, the following is what he said.

“Come to my phone, and I just got these notifications. And I remember, I kinda sat there in disbelief…. And then I had a text message from an unknown number, and it was him [Kobe Bryant].”

Tatum further explained how Kobe had showered him with compliments in the text message, and how it made him feel that his life had come full circle in that moment.

“He’s like, ‘Yo, this is Kob. Love your game, love what you’re doing, Keep it up. This summer, I want to get together, work on some things. Just hit me’…”

Tatum revealed that the moment was like a full circle for him as a 20-year-old, growing up in Saint Louis, it was his biggest inspiration.

“I think it’s crazy how somebody a thousand miles away, didn’t know me from a can of paint, can inspire me to chase my dream the way that he did… And it’s like, this is what I worked for. For this moment.”


The moment clearly means a lot to Jayson Tatum to this day, and why wouldn’t it? His lifelong idol had just acknowledged him in the best way imaginable. And if Kobe Bryant could have seen the kind of player he has developed into, he would likely have been beaming with pride.

Rest in peace, Kobe.

Jayson Tatum on working out with Kobe Bryant

During a different interview appearance, this one with All the Smoke, Tatum revealed how he felt while training with Kobe Bryant. The following is what he said.

“I was like a kid in a candy store… I kept talking to myself like, ‘I’m working out with Kobe.’ I couldn’t believe it at the time.”

Tatum then went on to talk about how Bryant trained, and his assistance on attention to detail.

“A lot of attention to detail… It wasn’t really anything that I couldn’t do. It was a bunch of moves that he’d seen me do and that he did. It was all little things to think about. That’s what I really took from it.”

Tatum truly had the opportunity of a lifetime. One that he likely wouldn’t trade in for anything on the face of the planet.

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