Jayson Tatum reacts to viral clip of him smoking Celtics coach Ime Udoka at Team USA practice
Tatum is in his second stint with Team USA, where Udoka serves as assistant coach to his longtime mentor Gregg Popovich. A video of Udoka guarding Tatum in practice recently went viral, with the Celtics main man repeatedly scoring over his new coach.
Ime Udoka guarding Jayson Tatum during practice 👀pic.twitter.com/cigjQ5NrrO
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) July 17, 2021
When asked by reporters about it, the 23-year-old Tatum didn’t bite his lip in shading the new Celtics drillmaster (via Boston.com).
“He was trying to guard me. He didn’t have too much luck. We were just getting some extra work in after practice. He put me through some drills, getting some extra shots up.”
Watch it, Tatum. You might get extra suicide drills once the Celtics training camp begins.
For the millennials out there, Udoka was actually an elite defender during his playing days, most notably with the San Antonio Spurs. His strong physique, wide frame, and high IQ made him a very capable stopper for Popovich. Udoka was instrumental in those deep Spurs runs alongside Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.
Many expect Udoka to do wonders for Tatum, who has developed into a pretty decent one-on-one defender. And it’s good that the two-time All-Star is already building a special relationship with Udoka, even comfortable enough already to blurt a little joke.
Ime Udoka and Jayson Tatum will try to win a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics before rolling up their sleeves for another NBA grind.