Celtics Star ‘Felt Like a Little Kid’ in Lakers Jersey

Jayson Tatum, LeBron James

Getty Jayson Tatum competing against LeBron James, as the Boston Celtics took on the Los Angeles Lakers

Jayson Tatum’s affection towards Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers is common knowledge at this point, especially after the Boston Celtics All-Star wing was pictured wearing the purple and gold during the off-season.

When speaking to the media after the Celtics loss to the Atlanta Hawks in mid-November, Tatum was asked about his appearance in the Celtics’ most fierce rivals uniform. “I felt like a kid putting that jersey on, you know obviously, the late, great Kobe Bryant was my favorite player,” Tatum said. 

Tatum grew up a Kobe fan and then got to live out his dream by training with the Black Mamba during the off-season leading up to the 2018-19 NBA season. “I was like a kid in a candy store, and I kept talking to myself like, ‘I’m working out with Kobe.'” Tatum said when making an appearance on the All The Smoke podcast.

Jayson Tatum | Ep 35 | ALL THE SMOKE Full Episode | #StayHome with SHOWTIME BasketballAll The Smoke returns with Celtics star Jayson Tatum joining Matt and Stephen for episode 35. The boys talk with Tatum about his time at Duke, his playoff runs with the Celtics and his poster dunk on Lebron. He also tells some of his favorite stories abut Kobe and MJ and opens up about his…2020-05-11T16:55:06Z

However, despite Tatum’s affection towards the Lakers as a child, his basketball life has taken him in the total opposite direction, with him becoming a Celtics star who recently committed to a five-year contract extension.

Tatum Is Excited to Play the Lakers

Tatum often reserves his stellar performances for the biggest games and has a body of work against both the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers that would make almost anyone in the NBA do a double-take.

Tatum’s enjoyment of these contests comes from the level of competition on the court, which is something he is looking forward to on Friday, November 19th.

“That game is special. Obviously, everybody knows the history between those two franchises. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of that for going on five years now and understanding who they have on their team. Especially somebody like LeBron, who is one of the best. He’s one of the best to play the game. Obviously, as a kid, it’s those match-up’s that you dreamed about, and you don’t take it for granted when you get the opportunity. Because, as a competitor, you love games and moments like that,” Tatum said when speaking to the media after his 34 night against the Hawks.

Jayson Tatum: "Obviously everyone knows I loved the Lakers back then…not the case now."ATLANTA, GA — Jayson Tatum was interviewed following the Celtics loss to the Atlanta Hawks. When asked about the upcoming matchup against the Lakers and wearing Kobe Bryant's jersey to pay tribute in a recent NBA Ad, Tatum said: "Obviously everyone knows I loved the Lakers back then (when I was a kid) – not…2021-11-18T04:19:10Z

Tatum also went a step further when discussing the Celtics’ upcoming contest against the Lakers, stating that while he used to love the team, that’s no longer the case.

“And everybody knows I loved the Lakers back then…not the case now,” Tatum said. 

Both the Celtics and Lakers Have Been Struggling

Neither the Celtics nor the Lakers have started the season how they would have liked, with both teams currently hovering around .500 heading into the mid-November contest. The Celtics’ struggles have come from adapting to a new coaching team, new offensive and defensive systems, and an influx of new teammates over the summer. While the Lakers have struggled for injuries to start the season and have seen multiple members of their core rotation miss stretches of games.

Sitting at 23rd and 24th in offensive rating, both the Celtics and Lakers share similar troubles in converting high-quality offense into something tangible on the scoreboard. While on the defensive end, both teams are fairing far better, with the Celtics ranked 11th and the Lakers 15th, per NBA Stats.

Luckily for both the teams and the fans, multiple players who have missed time with injury have this match-up earmarked for a potential return. LeBron James has been reported as hopeful of returning for the contest, while the Celtics will also be hopeful of Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams seeing some action when the game rolls around.

Tatum and the Celtics will face the Lakers on Friday, November 19th, as the team looks to get back in the win column following some inconsistent results.



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