Kevin Durant wants Jayson Tatum to be great, and the Brooklyn Nets star made sure to let the Boston Celtics forward know that when they came together for Team USA heading to the Tokyo Olympics this past offseason.

Speaking on The Draymond Green Show, Tatum recalled how Durant got mad at him when he passed the ball to him during the first day of scrimmage between Team USA and the Select Team. Now normally, as the Celtics star said it, he would have shot the ball if he was in Boston. Unfortunately, he couldn't shoot it and instead gave the ball to KD who was at his right side.

Durant, however, didn't like the move and looked at Tatum in confusion. He then reminded the youngster to have that killer mentality.

“Somebody kicked me the ball, and on the Celtics I would shot it. But it was like I couldn't shot it and I just remembered that KD was to the right of me [so] I passed it to him,” Tatum shared. “I remembered he got mad at me. He was like ‘Yo, don't look at me. Be yourself, I need you to kill.”

For what it's worth, it definitely had a massive impact on Jayson Tatum, serving as a wake-up call for the Celtics star to be true to himself and play like his usual, dominant self.

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Of course that really helped Team USA as well. Tatum averaged 15.2 points and 3.3 rebounds on 44.7 percent shooting from the field during the Tokyo Olympics, paving the way for the squad to win the gold medal.

Jayson Tatum seems to have brought that same mentality in the NBA, too. Despite his slow start to the 2021-22 season, he has since been putting up MVP numbers in the second half of the year. He is averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 45.1 percent shooting this campaign, though it is worth highlighting that he has been averaging 28.2 points on 48.3 percent shooting in all games this 2022.

As Tatum said recently, he would have been the MVP already had he started the year the same way he's playing right now. While that may sound overconfident, Tatum certainly deserves recognition after putting the Celtics in contention for the top seed after it looked like they were heading to the play-in tournament instead.

The Celtics will certainly want Tatum to keep that level of confidence and killer mentality heading to the playoffs. They have a great chance to make it to the Finals, but that depends on how Tatum plays. Fortunately for them, their All-Star looks to be in great shape both physically and mentally. Hey, maybe Boston has Kevin Durant to thank for that?