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Tatum wanted to be Kobe when he grew up: 'I used to hate Boston'

Jayson Tatum/Instagram

If you'd met Jayson Tatum prior to his No. 3 overall selection by the Boston Celtics in 2017, there's a strong chance he would've been slow to espouse the merits of his future team.

“I used to hate Boston,” Tatum admitted on The Ringers' "The Bill Simmons Podcast" Friday.

Don't worry, Celtics fans; the promising second-year forward quickly added that his allegiances now lie firmly in Massachusetts.

But like many young hoopers who grew up in the past 20 years, Tatum couldn't help but idolize a certain Los Angeles Lakers superstar - future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant.

"When I was like four or five, (...) my mom would ask me what I wanted to be when I got older, and I would just be like, ‘I wanna be Kobe,’" Tatum explained. "She’d be like, ‘You wanna be in the NBA?’ ‘No,’ like, I wanna be Kobe.' He was just my favorite player. I had his posters, all his jerseys. That was my guy."

Tatum's affinity toward Bryant didn't end when he joined the Celtics, however. The 20-year-old met with the Black Mamba last season while being spotlighted in Bryant's "Detail" series, and the two also worked out together last month:

“How much does it mean to you” @kobebryant

A post shared by Jayson Tatum🙏🏀 (@jaytatum0) on

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