Boston Celtics All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum grew up a fan of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, modeling his game on his future friend and mentor’s as he made his way to the NBA from the NCAA ranks at Duke. But when it came time for the team he grew up dreaming about joining to make their pick when Tatum’s draft night arrived, the Lakers instead went with now-Chicago Bull Lonzo Ball. As did the Philadelphia 76ers after having traded their No. 3 pick and another first for the Celtics top pick.
“The Lakers were my favorite team, and Kobe was my favorite player,” said the St. Louis native in a recent interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Elizabeth Merrill. “So it was crazy that the Lakers had the second pick and I was so close to a dream come true. But it was just like they didn’t want to do anything with me at the time. “
“After my workout (with Boston), I remember one of the (Celtics ‘) scouts came up to me and said,’ That was a great workout. I’m excited for you. But we’ve got the No. 1 pick, so we’re not going to pick you, ‘”Tatum joked.
“He still works for the Celtics now, so I (expletive) with him all the time.”
This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!