Kobe Bryant Questions Why Lakers Chose Lonzo Ball Over Jayson Tatum In 2017 NBA Draft
The 39-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star reportedly questioned this week why the team didn’t select Tatum in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft instead of former UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball.
On The Sidelines with Evan Daniels podcast, NBA trainer Drew Hanlen reportedly showed Bryant a video of Tatum — a former Duke small forward — imitating some of Bryant’s moves. The “Black Mamba” said he was amazed by Tatum, whom the Boston Celtics ultimately took with the third overall pick last year. Ball went to the Lakers as the second overall pick.
The Celtics and their manager Danny Ainge reportedly wanted to draft Tatum as the No. 1 overall pick initially.
Hanlen has also been working with Celtics star Gordon Hayward, according to Boston.com. Hayward, who joined the Celtics last season after seven seasons with the Utah Jazz, got injured in Boston’s season opener and was sidelined for the entire 2017-18 campaign.
In other Bryant-related news, Shaquille O’Neal made news on Tuesday when he claimed to have heard his former Lakers teammate — who played with him from 1996-2004 — is planning a comeback.
“Kobe coming back, I heard,” O’Neal told TMZ. “Kobe coming back, I heard he was. You heard it here first.”
O’Neal was reportedly asked if he was interested in returning to play with LeBron James now that The King is a member of the Lakers. O’Neal said he had no interest in this.
Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 after twenty seasons with the Lakers, with whom he won five championships. The two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time All-Star also won an Oscar earlier this year for his animated short film Dear Basketball.