Jayson Tatum to wear Kobe Bryant’s former Team USA No. 10 at upcoming Olympics
When Jayson Tatum takes the floor for Team USA at the Olympics later this month, he won’t be wearing his usual No. 0. Instead, Celtics fans will need to keep their eyes on No. 10.
The number 10 has special meaning to Tatum. It’s the number his favorite player – Kobe Bryant – wore on the international stage. Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Tatum was asked about that connection.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Tatum told reporters. “And I’ll wear it proudly.”
This won’t be the first time Tatum has worn the number for Team USA. He’s appeared in seven international tournaments at various levels, dating back to the FIBA Americas U-16 championship in 2013.
“I remember that first team when I was hoping, wishing, that I got No. 10,” the 23-year-old explained. “Kobe – everyone knows that was my favorite player. I was 15 years old and got to wear the number of my favorite player. It just felt like I had some level of connection with him.”
However, this year has added significance. It will be Tatum’s first Olympics, and also the first major tournament since Bryant’s passing in January of last year.
“With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value,” Tatum noted. “It’s not something I take lightly.”
The Olympic basketball schedule begins with a group stage starting on July 24. Team USA will play their first game the next day, when they take on with France.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.