Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum certainly did not make a mistake joining Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this past summer. After all, he got to learn from one of the best in Kevin Durant, according to his head coach Ime Udoka.
During his media availability on Friday, Udoka discussed how Tatum's Olympics stint in Tokyo, Japan benefited the youngster in his growth and development. Based on what the Celtics coach observed while he was an assistant for the national team, Durant had a ton of impact on his player and all the youngsters who joined the squad.
“Jayson watching some of Kevin's work, it's a benefit for him. Kevin goes extremely hard everyday in practice. He has his routine after practice. I think watching some of the players that haven't been around him like that, they were in awe of his work ethic after practice,” the Celtics' new bench tactician shared.
“He makes it through practice and gets to his one-on-one routine. He goes more than game speed. I saw the young guys watching that, and I think it's invaluable for them to be around a guy, see the level he plays at and then see see his work ethic behind that. It's not a coincidence.”
Kevin Durant is often considered the best basketball player in the NBA today, with the MVP odds even pointing to a dominant showing by the Brooklyn Nets star in 2021-22. With that said, it's certainly a good thing for Tatum to learn from one of the best.
Moreover, since he plays the same position as KD, it could only benefit the Celtics star to see how one of the league's best scorers trains and prepares himself in every game.
The results of Tatum's offseason work will be full seen this 2021-22, but based on Ime Udoka's comments and the early returns of training camp and preseason, it sure looks like the Celtics leader is poised for another big year.
“Watching some of the players that haven’t been around him like that, they were in awe of his work ethic.”
Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka on how Kevin Durant influenced Jayson Tatum and the other younger players during the Olympics
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