RIGHT BEFORE the thrilling matchup between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum sent a text message to Kobe Bryant’s number, which is still saved in his phone.
“I got you today,” the 23-year-old Celtics forward told the late Lakers star via SMS, adding an emoji of crossed fingers.
Tatum scored 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to seal the win, sending the Celtics to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Jayson Tatum recalls advice Kobe gave him
Back in 2018, Tatum got a chance to work out with Bryant, and his time with the great apparently inspires him to this day. Right before the do-or-die matchup against Miami, he prepped by watching some old highlights of his idol.
Tatum also wore a purple arm band with the number 24 on it.
On Instagram, he posted a picture of himself with the conference trophy, captioning it with the same words Kobe told him back in 2018: “How much it means to you?”
Fittingly enough, the Celtics forward also became the first-ever recipient of the Larry Bird NBA Conference Finals MVP — a trophy named after the most famous Celtics player of all time.
With the Celtics winning the series, they will move on to the NBA Finals and will face Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who are gunning for another title after four years.
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