Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Asked Why LAL Didn't Draft Celtics' Jayson Tatum

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant speaks during a halftime ceremony retiring both of his jersey's during an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Two weeks ago, basketball skills and shooting coach Drew Hanlen released a video on Twitter that showed some similarities between Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant

Drew Hanlen @DrewHanlen

My man @jaytatum0 is a bucket because he studies film & has spent YEARS perfecting his craft. Stole a lot of his best stuff straight from his idol @kobebryant #puresweatfam https://t.co/woNmY9ou82

Hanlen then showed the video to Bryant during a workout with Tatum, and Bryant was left wondering—perhaps jokingly—why his former team didn't snag Tatum with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. 

"It was cool. We actually showed Kobe it yesterday, and he was like, 'Why didn't the Lakers draft him?'" Hanlen told FS1's Evan Daniels (h/t Andrew Joseph of USA Today). "Which was pretty funny after seeing that. Jayson idolized Kobe."

Hanlen also shared a video of the workout he held with Bryant and Tatum:

Drew Hanlen @DrewHanlen

My man @jaytatum0 & I have been studying & stealing from @kobebryant since he was 13... Today, we got to work with him! #puresweatfam #details https://t.co/ofK0tdDUfF

The Lakers instead used that No. 2 overall pick to select Lonzo Ball, who dealt with injuries in his rookie campaign and struggled with his shot (36 percent from the field, 30.5 percent from three and 45.1 percent from the charity stripe) but played well otherwise (10.2 PPG, 7.2 APG, 6.9 RPG). 

Tatum, however, was a revelation. While his numbers in the regular season don't jump off the page (13.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG), he proved to be a better defender than advertised and shot an impressive 43.4 percent from three.

And then he became Boston's go-to scorer in the postseason, averaging 18.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists, showcasing the ability to beat defenders off the dribble and either attack the rim or create enough space to get off his jumper. 

Tatum, obviously, has a long way to go until he matches the level of his idol, an 18-time All-Star, five-time champion, the 2007-08 MVP and future Hall of Famer. Bryant is an all-time great. But Tatum is certainly a player with an extremely bright future.