It's no secret Jayson Tatum is a franchise cornerstone for the Boston Celtics and during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, he made history and set a new record previously held by the late Kobe Bryant.


The Celtics have been a regular in the playoffs ever since they drafted Tatum in 2017 out of Duke, therefore he's had every chance to make an impact when it matters most.

Tatum owns playoff averages of 23.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while averaging 24.7 points in the 2024 postseason. He's a big reason the Celtics ultimately won banner No. 18 on Monday night.

Jayson Tatum passes his idol Kobe

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter in game five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

It's well known that Tatum's basketball idol is Kobe Bryant and they also had a special relationship, which makes this feat even more significant.Back when Kobe passed away in 2020, Tatum posted a passionate message on social media that showed just how much Bryant meant to him:

“Heart broken. My Hero. My Idol. The reason I started to play this game, the reason I fell in love with this game. Growing up wanting to be just like you, to you becoming a mentor, beyond thankful for everything you’ve done for me. “I didn’t have a plan B I put all my eggs in one basket and I knew I was going to make it happen” hearing you say that stuck with me everyday of my life. You inspired me and I am forever grateful more than you know! Love you Bean 🙏🏽❤️! Sad, sad, sad day RIP Kobe and Gianna! Praying for the family!”

Tatum even said Kobe was the reason he started playing basketball.

Tatum broke the record with a three-pointer in the first half, finishing the series clincher with an impressive 31 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Tatum was the difference-maker in Game 5, but co-star Jaylen Brown won Finals MVP.

Tatum's legacy continues to grow. That's now two NBA Finals appearances while also advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals on six occasions. Aside from passing Kobe in playoff points, he also jumped C's legend Robert Parish in the Boston record books in the same category.

Celtics dominated Mavericks

Jayson Tatum and Co. were clearly the best team in these playoffs and only lost three games during their entire run to a championship. Although Luka Doncic and the Mavericks showed promise coming out of the West, they couldn't keep up with the Celtics, who dominated them in every way imaginable.

After getting blown out in Game 4, Boston turned the tables on Monday and won 106-88. They led by as many as 26 points and never trailed. Aside from Tatum's big performance, Brown also dropped 21 points while grabbing eight boards and dishing out six dimes.

For the 2023-24 regular season, Tatum averaged 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.0 steals. The former Blue Devil has proven to be one of the best players in the Association and now he has a ring to go along with it.

Now, the Celtics can enjoy their title and will enter 2024-25 as a favorite to capture banner No. 19.