Celtics star Jayson Tatum guided Boston to the NBA Finals on Sunday night, and earned the inaugural Larry Bird Trophy for Eastern Conference finals MVP in the process.
Tatum was seen sporting a purple “24” armband in honor of his idol, Kobe Bryant, during Game 7 against the Heat.
Tatum forged a bond with Bryant when he entered the league, and the two had worked out together in the offseason over the Celtics star's first couple of seasons in the NBA.
Bryant was Tatum's favorite player growing up, and Tatum made sure to text the late Lakers great ahead of Sunday night's pivotal Game 7 matchup.
Tatum texted Bryant's phone with “I got you today.”
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He certainly did.
Tatum was a key reason that the Celtics are advancing to their first NBA finals since 2010. Tatum finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as Boston clinched a Finals berth with a 100–96 victory in Miami.
Tatum and the Celtics now move on to the NBA Finals to face the Warriors, where the Boston star will look to harness more motivation from the late great in Bryant.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night. Tip-off from the Chase Center in San Francisco is set for 9 p.m. ET.
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