It's no secret that Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum is a Kobe Bryant disciple. That's why it isn't shocking that Tatum has become one of the best players in the NBA today. He is undoubtedly one of the most skilled two-way players in the game. But a lot of the 25-year-old's success on the basketball court has to do with the Mamba Mentality the Celtics forward takes from the Los Angeles Lakers icon.
While appearing on the Point Forward Podcast with Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, Tatum shared a lesson he learned while attending the late great Lakers legend's camp.
“Growing up, I remember Kobe [Bryant], he spoke at a camp one time,” Jayson Tatum recalled. “I remember he said, ‘I never had a plan B… Why would I not give all my time energy, and effort to what I'm trying to accomplish?' And that resonated so much. That was my favorite player. That was who I wanted to be like.
“So in my mind, it was never a plan B,” he added, to answer whether he had another option had he not become a superstar in the NBA.
He even added a 50 Cent reference in the end: “Go to the league or die trying.”
“Kobe Bryant spoke at a camp one time… I remember he said, ‘I never had a plan B… Why would I not give all my time, energy, and effort to what I’m trying to accomplish?’ That resonated so much.”
Jayson Tatum shares a Mamba story 🙌
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 6, 2023
Tatum, now in his seventh year in the league, is still in pursuit of winning his first NBA title, which Bryant won five times. He could win his first one this year as most sportsbooks favor the Celtics to win the 2024 NBA Championship.
Boston's success this season is in large part due to Tatum's elite play so far. They currently hold the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 15-5 record. In 20 games, the All-NBA forward is averaging 27.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.