Jayson Tatum talks about the honor of wearing Kobe’s No. 10 jersey for Team USA

Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Olympic Basketball

Jayson Tatum is relishing the opportunity to wear Kobe Byrant’s No. 10 jersey for Team USA.

Wearing Kobe Bryant‘s No. 10 Team USA jersey is an honor Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum does not take lightly.

“With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value,” said Tatum to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “It’s not something I take lightly.”

Like many hoopers of his generation, Tatum grew up idolizing the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar. Bryant famously rocked the No. 8 and then the No. 24 jersey in Los Angeles, but when he suited up for Team USA, it was always the No. 10. This is the jersey number Bryant wore as a part of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams that brought back the gold medal to the United States.

In 2016, Kyrie Irving was the one to wear the iconic No. 10 jersey for Team USA in Rio de Janeiro.

Jayson Tatum is proud to wear the No. 10 jersey for Team USA and Kobe Bryant

Tatum had worn the No. 10 jersey since the first time he represented his country back in 2013 during the FIBA Americas U-16 championships in Uruguay. The St. Louis native spent one year at Duke before being the No. 3 overall pick by the Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft. He has spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Celtics, earning two All-Star nods and one All-NBA team.

Team USA has taken home gold in the last four Summer Olympics dating back to the 2008 Beijing Games. Bryant was an integral part of the Redeem Team after the 2004 squad massively underperformed in Athens, Greece. While Team USA is the presumptive favorite to make it five Olympic victories in a row, all the pressure is on Tatum and his teammates to get it done in Tokyo.

Tatum did not have to ask for the No. 10 jersey, but he says he will wear it proudly this summer.

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