Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Honors Kobe Bryant in Eastern Conference Finals Win over Miami Heat

by Tyler Mansfield

The sports world misses Kobe Bryant. There’s no question about it. One of the best to ever play in the NBA, “Mamba” left us far too early. Ever since Kobe passed away on January 26, 2020, many NBA players have honored him in many different ways. Among those who have made it a priority to keep Bryant’s name alive is Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

Tatum, who is in his fifth NBA season, has been on a tear all year long. Because of that, he has the Celtics in the NBA Finals – set for an exciting series with the Golden State Warriors. Before punching their ticket to the Finals, the Celtics – led by Tatum – had to first defeat the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Behind Tatum’s dominant play, they were able to do just that.

While Tatum scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists, he led the Celtics to a 100-96 win. In what was a great series between Boston and Miami, Tatum and his squad had to battle until the very end – and that’s exactly what they did. Ahead of Game 7 on Sunday, Tatum sent a text to Kobe Bryant’s old number and told him the Celtics would win.

As Tatum indeed led Boston to the series win, he did it while wearing a Kobe armband with the No. 24 on it. Following the game, he was asked why he decided to sport it.

“Game 7,” Tatum said. “Everybody knows how much he means to me. My idol, my favorite player. Just to have something to show him – in the biggest game of my career so far – and it worked out.”

Tatum Named Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP

Jayson Tatum was on a tear throughout the Eastern Conference Finals. Averaging 25 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists each night, Tatum was the clear leader of the Celtics during the series against the Miami Heat. Because of that, he was named the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals Most Valuable Player.

While Tatum put up 25 points a game, he poured in 47 in a Game 6 road win and capped the series with 26 in Game 7. He’s been dominant throughout the entire postseason, and his play could help Boston capture the NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors.