‘Tatum Is Finding Out’- Gilbert Arenas Believes Jayson Tatum Will Be on Kobe Bryant’s Level

Published 04/05/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
Jan 21 2009: Kobe Bryant during the 108-97 Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Darryl Dennis/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


Jayson Tatum is turning out to be one of the best young stars in the NBA. However, that isn’t a new discovery. Tatum has been lighting the NBA on fire ever since his rookie year. It isn’t easy to forget the rookie that dunked on LeBron James in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, and that fearless mentality is what Tatum embodies.

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Another man that embodied that same spirit was Kobe Bryant. His ‘Mamba Mentality’ espouses that people don’t shy away from moments they can be great in. Along with that, it also speaks of the importance of repetition and practice to improve your game. According to former NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas, Tatum is well on his way to match the offensive skill-set that Kobe Bryant had.

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“Kobe was great at everything. Mid-range, getting to his spot, and that is what Tatum is finding out he is great at too… No matter what the defense is giving, you are going to your destination. When you get there, you rise up and hit the shot,” said Arenas.

Jayson Tatum: Can he ascend to the level of Kobe Bryant?

Jayson Tatum has a long road ahead of him. While he has already established himself as an all-star and been to the Eastern Conference Finals twice in his three seasons of play, there is a lot more growth yet to happen. He is the #1 option on the Celtics this season, and the team has struggled.

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Feb 2, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) handles the ball while being defended by Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during the third quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

While the struggles aren’t necessarily Tatum’s fault, they do make that ‘young’ tag on the team stick out even more. But his play on the court has been evolving. Tatum was an all-star this season, becoming a starter after Kevin Durant got injured and was unable to play the All-Star game. These achievements are neat, but they aren’t at the level of Kobe.

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‘Bean’ was establishing himself as one of the most feared players in the NBA when he got in. His skill-set was as developed as many of the veterans he played against. One cannot say that Tatum has that much natural ability and work ethic to match what Kobe did. But he is still very young, and there is no cap on how much he could develop.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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