Jayson Tatum text to Kobe Bryant, explained: How Celtics star honored Lakers legend with 'I got you' message

NBA stars develop history by winning championships, fair or not. Jayson Tatum or Luka Doncic will win the 2024 NBA Finals.

Tatum has chased a championship since joining the NBA in 2017, and Kobe Bryant has been his biggest influence. He said Bryant inspired him to play basketball, and the 26-year-old borrows from the five-time champion.

Before Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, Tatum donned the same design Bryant wore at a 1996 Celtics pre-draft practice.

Tatum has honoured Bryant many times since his 2020 death, including the t-shirt. Tatum's 2022 text to Bryant is remembered here. 

Tatum texted Kobe Bryant, "I got you today," hours before the Celtics played the Heat in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. 

1 . Jayson Tatum's text to Kobe Bryant, explained

Tatum snapped a picture with Bryant's hands on his head and the Eastern Conference championship trophy at his feet after the game. After the 2001 NBA Finals, Bryant's toilet shot with the Larry O'Brien Trophy was copied. 

In this era of parity, it may be difficult for any player to match Bryant's five NBA titles, but the Celtics' structure may allow Tatum to get close to the player who inspired him to play basketball.

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