‘Generational Talent’: Newly Appointed Celtics Boss Ime Udoka Compares Jayson Tatum to Kobe Bryant

Published 07/06/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Apr 9, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after making a shot during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports


Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum has well and truly taken the NBA by storm. Over time, he has become one of the most reliable players of the team. When the going gets tough, the tough get going; and Tatum has definitely evolved into the Celtics’ go-to man.

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Jayson Tatum has significant numbers

May 22, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) attempts a shot defended by Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) during the fourth quarter of game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Being a small-forward for a side like Boston, whom people expect to deliver year after year, is no mean feat. But Tatum has been up to the task when it comes to dealing with the expectations. In his four seasons at the NBA, the 23-year-old has only gotten better. His average game-time has only increased from season to season, currently sitting at 35.8 minutes per game in the regular season.

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In the 2020-21 regular season, the Duke University prodigy averaged 26.4 points, 4.3 assists and 7.4 rebounds. For someone who is just stepping into the horizon of the NBA, these are other-worldly statistics. Tatum also shot at just under 87% from the free-throw line and guided his team to marvelous victories on many occasions. He has proven himself to be a big-match player and repaid the faith shown in him by the coach.

New coach Udoka lauds Tatum

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The Celtics are in due course for changes in the team set-up. Freshly appointed head-coach of the Celtics Ime Udoka will aim to revitalize the squad with renewed hope. Ahead of his stint, he had some great things to say about his key player.

Boston, Massachusettes–June 17, 2008 Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the TD Banknorth Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In a recent interview, the former Nigerian basketball great praised Tatum and made a sensational comparison with him to the quintessential ambassador of the sport, Kobe Bryant. “I see a lot of Kobe Bryant in him [Jayson Tatum]. He is a generational talent.” said Ime Udoka.

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With the expectations being showered on him from all ends, it will be interesting to see if Tatum can live up to the hype. It is still early days, but the potential to become a star of the game is there for everyone to see. Rest assured, Tatum is a huge asset to the league and has an extremely bright future ahead of him. As the new season approaches, the Celtics will hope that a rejuvenated squad and an Udoka-Tatum connection can change their fortunes.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

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