Boston’s Jayson Tatum doesn’t take Friday’s Los Angeles Lakers showdown for granted; ‘Everybody knows the history between the two franchises’

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The Boston Celtics are keen to put Wednesday’s 110 – 99 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks behind them, but in so doing they need to turn their attention to the next opponent on the schedule, and in this case, it is not just any game looming large on the calendar.

The Celtics will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, and even in the worst of states, such a contest is always a bigger deal than usual. Now, with both teams aspiring to compete in earnest after rough starts, the game will take on a little added urgency given both clubs will be hungry for a win. Asked about the next game on Boston’s schedule after the Hawks loss, star forward Jayson Tatum had plenty to say.

“I think that game is special,” said Tatum. “Everybody knows the history between the two franchises.”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of that, going on five years now, understanding who they have on their team, especially somebody like LeBron (James), that is one of the best to play this game,” he continued, perhaps in a nod to reports James may return in time to play Friday.

“So, as a kid, it’s those matchups that you dreamed about, and you don’t take for granted when you get that opportunity because as a competitor, you love those games and you love moments like that.”

Tatum was featured in a photoshoot recreating some of the NBA’s greatest moments as part of its 75th-anniversary celebrations and was asked if it was weird donning a Lakers jersey in honor of Kobe Bryant, even if just for that one moment.

“I don’t know if it was weird. I felt like a kid putting on that jersey, because the late, great Kobe Bryant was my favorite player. Everybody knows I loved the Lakers back then. Not the case now, but I felt like a kid in that moment because that’s what I used to do. I used to wear that jersey and run around the house and try to be like him.”

“So, I felt like a kid when I did that,” he finished.

Tatum will have an opportunity to show just how special the match is for him and his teammates this Friday when the two teams square off on the Duke product’s home court.

Who is healthy and who is not may have as much to do with the final outcome as anything else, but at minimum we expect the sort of energy and engagement the rivalry calls for.

Something the Celtics have struggled with considerably this season.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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