Celtics Notes: Tatum, R. Williams, Smart, White

Jayson Tatum hasn’t forgotten the feeling of being passed over by it lakers in the draft of 2017 – or that the Celts almost didn’t pick him up either, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Elizabeth Merrill. Tatum, who has become the biggest star in this year’s draft class, grew up a Lakers fan and still offers subtle tributes to him Kobe Bryant. LA owned the #2 but focused on it Lonzo ballending Tatum’s hopes of wearing purple and gold.

“The Lakers were my favorite team and Kobe was my favorite player” said Tatum. “So it was crazy that the Lakers had second pick and I was so close to a dream come true. But it was like they didn’t want anything to do with me at the time.”

Tatum had strong pre-draft training for Boston, who owned the top pick. Danny Aigewho was then managing the Celtics had planned to compete Markle Fultzbut Fultz was shooting poorly in his practice and didn’t seem quite healthy, so Ainge traded down and grabbed Tatum in 3rd place.

“After my training, I remember one of the [Boston] Boy Scouts came up to me and said, ‘That was great training. I’m happy for you. But we picked #1, so we won’t pick you. Tatum remembered. “He’s still working for the Celtics now, so I’m with him all the time.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Robert Williams has earned a new level of respect by playing in pain throughout the postseason, according to The Athletic’s Jay King. Williams has come a long way since college, when there were questions about his work ethic and maturity level. “Rob made huge leaps” teammate Jaylen Brown said. “Not only in his game, but only in the mental game. Be consistent, be solid, be available. And a lot of that comes from confidence. A lot of that comes from confidence, from inner belief.” Williams was ruled questionable for tonight’s Game 3 but he will be in the starting lineup. tweets Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
  • Markus Smart Heavy’s Steve Bulpett says the Celtics are stronger because of the trials they’ve endured during their 18-21 start. “We definitely made it difficult for ourselves” Said Smart. “But you know, we always hear the saying: if you want something big, it’s never going to be easy to achieve it. So you know, as a team, we take that right away, we accept it and we ride with it.”
  • After being traded to Boston by the Spurs, Derrick White found many similarities in the system operated by I am Udokawho was a former assistant at San Antonio but said the Celtics put more emphasis on physicality, writes Grant Afseth for Sports Illustrated. “In San Antonio, we put a lot of emphasis on not polluting,” said White. “To keep her [opponents] out of line. Obviously they don’t want stupid fouls here, but I’m just trying to be more physical. Just little things like that.”

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