Ex-Laker, NBA Champion Compares Jayson Tatum to Kobe Bryant

Jayson Tatum

Getty Jayson Tatum

Since the Boston Celtics drafted Jayson Tatum in 2017, he has risen through the ranks as one of the NBA’s best players. So much so that former NBA players have compared him to the likes of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

One of these former players is Nick Young. Young compared Tatum to Bryant, who Young played with on the Los Angeles Lakers from 2013 to 2016. He also explained why he thinks people have disrespected Tatum.

“JASON TATUM the light skin mamba is this yr MVP I never seen someone get so disrespected in my life how do yall keep putting the joker and all these other ppl over him,” Young tweeted via his X account on February 13.

Young played for the Lakers from 2013 until 2017. Young then went on to win a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2018. Tatum has gone on the record talking about how much he idolized Bryant growing up.

After Tatum’s rookie year, Taum and Bryant held a workout together the following offseason in 2018.

Of course, Jayson Tatum is far from the only NBA player who Bryant influenced.

Kendrick Perkins Believes Jayson Tatum is MVP

Former Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins explained to NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg why Jayson Tatum has his vote for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

“I’m voting for Jayson Tatum,” Perkins told Forsberg on February 16, per NBC Sports Boston’s YouTube Channel. “If the season stopped today, and this is my criteria, the best player with the best record. He’s doing that. People don’t realize the sacrifices that Tatum had to do.”

Perkins then explained why both Tatum’s individual success and the Celtics’ team success has convinced him that Tatum should win the award.

“Right now, he’s averaging right around 27 points a game, eight and a half rebound. That’s monster. And he’s shooting 55 percent or close to that as far as his two-point field goal percentage. Look, if the Celtics finish with the number one seed overall, the best record in the league, which I believe they will, Tatum is getting my vote.”

Tatum has been the Celtics’ best player, and the Celtics have the best record in the NBA. Being the best player on the best team usually helps a player’s case for such an award.

Stephen A. Smith Believes Jayson Tatum is MVP

Kendrick Perkins isn’t the only one who believes Jayson Tatum should win MVP. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes the same thing and explained in thorough detail why he believes as such.

“I got Jayson Tatum as the leading candidate for league MVP now that Joel Embiid is out,” Smith said on “First Take.” “I’m sorry, does winning matter? Does being the best player on the best team matter? I’d say it does.

“I’m looking at a brother that was averaging 30 (points) last year in the NBA. He’s now averaging 27. I got numbers here. Tatum is one of four NBA players averaging 27 and 8 (rebounds), along with Embiid, Luka, and Giannis. We know that Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Dallas ain’t what Boston is. They’ve got the best record in basketball. They got a six-game cushion in the Eastern Conference.

“Jayson Tatum even has a teammate that gets paid more than him at $300 million in Jaylen Brown. Jayson Tatum, oh by the way in case you wanna look, career-high 56 percent on two-point shots, shooting 37 percent in the paint in the non-restricted area, shooting 44 percent from mid-range. The brother is something special. Six-nine, can take you outside, can take you inside, can post you up, can face the basket and pull up.”

If Jayson Tatum wins the award, he would be the first Celtic to have done so since Larry Bird in 1986.