BOSTON (CBS) — By all accounts, Jayson Tatum is going to really enjoy being coached by Ime Udoka in Boston. The new Celtics head coach is already putting in some work with his star player, as Udoka and Tatum are both part of the United States Men’s National Team in the Tokyo Olympics.
That work included Udoka D-ing up on Tatum while Team USA was training in Las Vegas. And although Udoka was known mostly for his defense during his NBA playing days, the 43-year-old was no match for Tatum.READ MORE: Evan Fournier Leads France Over Jayson Tatum And Team USA In Olympic Opener
JT vs Coach U 🇺🇸☘️
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 17, 2021
Tatum made sure to poke fun at his new head coach when chatting with reporters from Tokyo on Thursday.READ MORE: Bill Russell To Auction Most Of His Prized Celtics, NBA Memorabilia
“He was trying to guard me, but he didn’t have too much luck,” Tatum said of Udoka’s defensive abilities last week.
Ouch. Don’t be surprised if Udoka has Tatum running a few extra laps whenever Celtics training camp tips off later this summer.
“We were just getting in some extra work after practice, putting me through some drills and getting some extra shots up,” Tatum said of their one-on-one time.
Tatum has said that he wants Udoka to push him and his Celtics teammates when Boston gets back to business in a few months. It seems like he would have liked a few pushes during those defensive drills as well.
But that hasn’t quelled Tatum’s excitement for Boston’s new head coach, and they are both eager to see what the Celtics can do in 2021-22 with a new man in charge of the bench.MORE NEWS: Jayson Tatum On Olympics: 'Only Thing That Matters Is That We Win The Gold Medal'
“He’s obviously excited for this opportunity. He’s motivated and driven. We’re both excited,” said Tatum. “Obviously we have a job to do here first, and we’ll take care of that when we get [back to Boston].”