Without a doubt, Jayson Tatum is one of the brightest young stars in the entire NBA. His dedication to improve his craft, and be one of the best players under 23 years old is a testament to his desire of being an all-time great. Most importantly, he is a top-two player for a Celtics team that looks destined to be a playoff contender for the foreseeable future.
Tatum’s improvement in his game could have been a direct result of his training with Kobe Bryant. In fact, Tatum has pulled off some of Kobe’s moves more recently than ever before. His biggest test came against the Los Angeles Lakers this past weekend, where Tatum balled out and showed that he is primed to be the NBA’s next great scorer. As a tribute to one of the greatest players ever, and the man who trained him, here is why Tatum will be the league’s next Kobe Bryant.
1. Playing Style
Kobe Bryant had a way about him, the way he played the game, that was so unique and attractive for the entire NBA Universe. He had every offensive move possible, including outstanding dribble moves and pump fakes to create space.
Similarly, Tatum is developing a complete offensive game that allows him to create space when guarded one on one, and make him a threat to be double-teamed. What Kobe excelled at, was being able to find open guys or even score despite double teams. This is still a work in progress for Tatum, but he will soon be able to score the ball with multiple hands in his face.
Kobe’s training of scoring the ball has made Tatum a legitimate number one option in an offense.
2. Clutch Gene
Kobe was renowned for his clutch gene. Even if he missed the timely buckets, he was always willing and able to take them. That is the most important thing for a number one scoring option, to be able to take shots when the pressure is at its peak.
Tatum has shown this ability.
Especially in the game against the Lakers, Tatum was hungry and very willing to take and make the final shot for his team. It doesn’t matter if he plays against an all-time great like LeBron James, or any other opponent, Tatum possesses the desire to one day to become a cold killer in the clutch much like Kobe Bryant. For now, Tatum’s much-improved scoring ability makes him deadly in the clutch.
3. Impact On The Game
Kobe impacted the game mainly through his scoring. More specifically, his ability to get hot from the perimeter allowed him to control the game and give his team the base for victory. Similarly, Tatum is developing an intense offensive game that can completely pull his team to victory.
Despite being very young, this is a very good sign that Tatum can be a superstar scoring option one day. His impact on the game this year is undeniable, as he made his first All-Star appearance, and it seems there are many more to come.
If Tatum can continue to improve his scoring clip, currently at 23.3 PPG, Tatum can hopefully one day impact the game like Kobe Bryant used to.
Tatum is still very young but seems to have the tools to be a very good leader. Bryant needed some time to find his leadership skills, and he hit his peak when he guided the Lakers to two straight titles when he donned the number 24. Tatum will also need to put the pieces together and become a great leader, but he seems to be on the right track.
So far, Tatum has shown the desire to make big plays when he’s counted on, which is a very important stepping stone to becoming a great leader. His next step will be to lead by his work ethic, and also vocally. Being coached by Brad Stevens will surely help him become a leader, as he will get plenty of time and space to develop his leadership skills. The future is bright for young Tatum, and he is on the right path to becoming the NBAs next Kobe Bryant.