Celtics Franchise Cornerstone Shares Strong Message on Bulls Star

Chicago Bulls

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics watches as teammates take on the Chicago Bulls

This offseason has been about work for the Chicago Bulls. Players have stayed active from rookie Dalen Terry heading coming in and getting to it right after the NBA Draft to Coby White who has taken time out to help spread the game.

There have also been unofficial team workouts that were preceded by Patrick Williams’ trip to Los Angeles.

He trained with DeMar DeRozan on that trip. That included 5 a.m. workouts which meant Williams had to wake up at 3 a.m. to beat the L.A. traffic. That left him coming away with a different appreciation for his veteran teammate.

Now, after training with DeRozan, a rival’s young star has shared his feelings on the three-time All-NBA selection.

Tatum Gets Honest on DeRozan

The Bulls have taken their workouts around the pro-am circuit in addition to their individual and team workouts. But they have also been participating in many of the top open runs with other elite players from around the NBA.

It was at one of these runs that DeRozan and the Bulls got some work in with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

DeRozan and Tatum both shared Instagram stories with a strong statement of appreciation to and from each other.

Tatum also sent a brief, two-word shoutout to DeRozan following one of his game-winner against the Indiana Pacers this past season

DeRozan has also shown respect to Tatum following the latter’s 60-point effort against him in 2001 when DeRozan was still a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

Tatum led a 32-point comeback effort for a 143-140 win in overtime.

Jayson Tatum gets MAJOR Respect From DeMar DeRozan After Scores 60 Points !#nba #nbahighlights #tatum DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow the "Free Use" guideline of YouTube2021-05-01T02:30:40Z

The two have something very special in common.

The Mamba Mentality

Both DeRozan and Tatum are basketball mentees of the late Kobe Bryant with the Celtics star going so far as to sport a purple armband during the playoffs. Williams dished on his experience out in L.A. with DeRozan to Stacey King on the “Gimme the Hot Sauce” podcast on June 16.

Aside from the early rise, Williams spoke highly of his teammate’s approach.

“It’s really mental. Everything he does is mental. Even if it’s a lift, if it’s a on-court workout…anything he does is mental. He likes to play mind games. He likes to challenge himself mentally, as I see.”

DeRozan has been open about learning that approach from Bryant and applying it to reach the level of consistency that he has.

“I got it from Kobe early in my career. His conversations and his preparations and the way he approaches his craft was always given to me in a way of, ‘Take this and apply it to you the best way as it fits.’ But this is how I got to where I got.”

Williams, who also joined DeRozan for a Drew League contest, noted one other thing that DeRozan does to keep himself sharp.

“We go at it in the workouts. I think that’s another thing that kind of makes him so good. He’s going against different people every summer…He’s been guarded by so many different people in the workouts that in the game it’s second nature to him.”

Add Tatum, whom DeRozan will certainly matchup against when the Bulls face the Celtics multiple times next season, to that list.

Not Just Lip Service

Tatum has listed his favorite players several times and DeRozan’s name has yet to come up. The list has changed quite a bit from time to time, though, there are a couple of constants, Among them, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal who hails from Tatum’s native St. Louis.

There is also the infamous tweet from a then 14-year-old Tatum to LeBron James.

But Tatum once admitted he studies all of the top players at his position and DeRozan has been that for some time. He was certainly that last season en route to his third All-NBA selection, fifth All-Star game, and the Bulls’ first playoff berth in five years.

At one point during the regular season, DeRozan was under early MVP consideration. That tailed off as the Bulls did down the stretch.

Still, DeRozan’s work ethic is on a different level than many of his peers.

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