Jayson Tatum pays tribute to Kobe Bryant during Game 7
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum honored the late Kobe Bryant on Sunday during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
Tatum wore a purple and gold arm band just above his left elbow. The armband featured the number 24 that Bryant wore with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jayson Tatum wearing a Kobe 24 armband in Game 7 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/en4nIjbKAQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 30, 2022
Like many of today’s players, Tatum was a big fan of Bryant growing up. He had a close relationship with Bryant and even named his dog after the Hall of Famer.
“Game 7. Everybody knows how much he means to me. My idol and my favorite player. Just to have something to show him in the biggest game of my career so far, and it worked out,” Tatum told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game, regarding the decision to wear the band.
Tatum has channeled his inner “Mamba Mentality” so far during the postseason. Entering Sunday’s game, he was averaging 27.1 points, 5.9 assists and 6.5 rebounds in 17 games.
The 24-year-old Tatum earned first-team All-NBA honors this season. He averaged the seventh-most points in the NBA (26.9), and was fifth in minutes played per game (35.9).
Tatum scored 30 points in a Game 6 loss on Friday, including four 3-pointers. He also grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists.