JON SCHEYER HAS Although he has been through enough recruiting to realize how absurd this story sounds, he swears it is 100% true.
It was 2013.Was 25 years old when he started out as a special assistance. . A weekend in July with Scheyer was off coaching Team USA and went to Chicago to see Luke Kennard, an AAU player that they had offered a scholarship for the previous week.
Scheyer's job was essentially to show up at Kennard's place and make sure he saw him. Scheyer, a novice driver on his first road trip couldn't help but to take a look around.
This is when he first saw..
Scheyer, who was a pioneer in the field of telemarketing, said that “I'll never forget” it.. “All the courts were within a short distance of each other. Luke was in Court 3. As I walk into the gym, I notice that the games are already underway. I then stop to look at Court 1 and see this tiny 6-7-year-old boy, with the most dominant baby face I have ever seen. …
“From that moment on, it was my mission. It felt like he was my friend. [at] Duke.”
Scheyer was able to recognize his own limitations and admit that he may have been getting ahead of himself. It is hard to believe that Scheyer was able to spot a future NBA star just a few minutes into his first recruiting visit. He tried his best to convince Krzyzewski, the rest of staff, that the 15-year old wing was special. He eventually established a relationship with his family. Soon Tatum's mom Brandy Cole was texting Scheyer after Tatum played high school football, writing things like, “He needs f—ing rebound!”
The Blue Devils won the 2015 national championship. Scheyer, Krzyzewski, and Jeff Capel, associate head coach, traveled to Tatum’s 900-square foot home in University City, a suburb near St. Louis, to meet them. Cole made her famous tacos. The Bud Lights flowed. Scheyer saw Krzyzewski for the last time. “He's a big fan of wine,” Scheyer said.
Krzyzewski was presenting his pitch and Tatum was rolling. Tatum was so overwhelmed with nerves that Tatum didn’t say anything.
Justin Tatum, Justin Tatum's dad, finally chimed in.
He said to them, “Just so that we're all clear”, “he's coming.”
Scheyer said that Scheyer's words were enough to make the jaws drop of the coaches. Krzyzewski recognized what Scheyer saw in Chicago's fieldhouse, and it was a win that brought him to Durham.
Scheyer says Scheyer has a deep belief in himself. Scheyer states, “You can't learn that.”
This is what Tatum's friends seem to agree on. He may be naturally gifted. He might also work tirelessly on his game. But what seems to make Tatum stand out in the greatest moments — which there have been many during this playoffs, as he has led them the way?He believes in himself and took them to the first NBA Finals in 12 year.
He doesn't show it. Jayson Tatum's fashion-forward, multicolored pink-and-patterned jacket that he wore to Chase Center for Game 1, which is tied at 1-1 in the series with the defending champion Jayson Tatum.Heads to Boston for Game 3 (9 PM). ET, ABC and ESPN App. The conviction is there. Tatum has made it his own.
BRANDY COLE COULD She couldn't bring herself to tell her mother that she was pregnant. She was 18 and meant to attend college. Kristie Jursch, when she was young, had Brandy and raised her as a single mother. Cole knew that Cole wanted more for Brandy, and she was determined to get it.
She decided to keep the pregnancy private for as long she could while trying to work out how to talk to her mom. She knew what the reaction would be from her mom and she was prepared for it. Poor Brandy. Her life has been ruined I was determined to prove them wrong.
She says, “I didn't want be a statistic.” “I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to go back so I didn't want a semester off. I put my head down, and just dug it all out.
But when Cole was 3½ months pregnant, her body forced the issue. While working at a Walgreens photo counter, she collapsed from anemia. Although she was now in college, she couldn't tell her mother at the hospital. So she asked a friend to help. Jursch walked into the room, hugging her daughter. Jursch promised her, “We'll get over this.”
Jursch cried for about one week and then she gave her baby all of her love. Cole would be asleep and Jursch would take off her covers to talk to her baby. Cole said, “My mom loved really much.” Cole was independent. Jayson wouldn't call Jayson her mama “mama”. She wanted Jayson to know that she was his mother.
Cole left home soon after Jayson's birth. Cole knew that her mom wanted them to stay so she and Jayson slipped out of their home when Jursch went to work. Cole was determined to make this happen on her own. It was hard work for Cole as she tried to balance motherhood, school, and work.
Tatum recalls, “There was a period when we didn’t have any heat during the wintertime.” Tatum said. “I was sharing a bed with my mom because we only had one space heater and had to close the door.
They were all in it together in every possible sense. Cole took Jayson to class with her, and then she did homework after she had put Jayson to bed.
His father was a forward for Saint Louis University and he played overseas after college. Jayson received his first basketball from him when he was just a baby. Jayson had already told people in elementary school that he wanted to play for the NBA. It was suggested that he create a backup plan.
“I would always tell them that I don't have one. I don’t have one. Tatum states that he will make this work, regardless of whether anyone thinks so or not or what the circumstances are. “If it doesn't, then it's either that or die. It doesn't matter what else.
When Jayson was 13, Cole wanted him to train with Drew Hanlen, a St. Louis-based 21-year-old former college basketball player-turned-training guru. Hanlen was the one Hanlen was working alongside.He had committed to He would soon be the No. The No. 3 overall pick in 2012 NBA draft. Cole begged Hanlen for training her son but Hanlen was not able to work with middle schoolers.
Beal reached out to her mom, Besta. Besta was Jayson's volleyball coach in highschool. Jayson received a warm welcome from Beal. Even though they were in different grades, Beal would go to Jayson's gym with him and take Jayson on rides. Cole would attempt to repay Beal by giving him gas money, or a gift certificate for Imo’s pizza. He would reply, “Stop it. “That's my little brother.”
Hanlen was moved by Cole's recommendation. She stated that she would borrow money to help pay for the training, but it didn't matter how long it took. As long as her son was able to prove himself worthy, she would.
Hanlen explains, “That to me was when it was when I was like ‘You know, I'm going train this kid because of how much Jayson's mom is willing to do any and all for Jayson.”
But she did not want handouts. Her son would do everything. She was clear on one thing: Her son would not be allowed to take anything from her. He didn't get any free lessons or opportunities that he didn’t earn. She did not want to owe anyone anything.
Tatum states that Tatum believed she would reach her destination. Tatum says that she didn't want anyone to be able to keep my head above water. This was something I always remembered — my mom could not get it for me. We just had to live without it and figure it all out.
Hanlen was so intense with Jayson that he had to leave twice the gym because he was about pooping. Scott Suggs, a University of Washington player, was brought in for the second session. Hanlen watched the 13-year old as Suggs “destroyed him” in a one-on-one game. Hanlen wondered how he would respond to adversity.
Hanlen was focused on Jayson’s mental game. Cole wanted her child to be humble. Hanlen was trying hard to make Jayson a steely-eyed arrogant winner. Hanlen said that Cole kept telling her, even as a freshman: “He's got got to be an A–hole.” “And she was like, “No, I want to raise my child to be humble star.”
Jayson loses the state title in his junior year at high school. He had a technical for dunk on someone, hanging on to the rim. The ref really screwed Jayson over but they lose — that's what matters. Brandy said, “Yo,” because we didn’t think he was aggressive. Then she went, “Man, turn him in to an arrogant,–hole.”
WHEN TO DRAFT Pick sneaks up on your team, making a bold move seem like the obvious choice. However, history does not always favor the teams that end up in the wrong place. Tatum and the 2017 draft were two examples.They will regret their decision.
The No. 1 pick was held by the Celtics. The Celtics had the No.. Fultz was chosen by them using the first pick. The Lakers were ranked No. 2, and they were fixated on UCLA's point guard . Tatum wasn't even invited in to work out with them. It is difficult to recall the reasons behind these decisions for those who made them. The principals, Magic Johnson (Lakers), and Bryan Colangelo of Philadelphia, are no more in their roles.
Tatum saw them all as minorities and used them to motivate him.
Tatum said that the Lakers were his favorite team and Kobe my favorite player. Tatum wore a purple No. Bryant's memory was celebrated in Boston's win over the Miami Heat in Game 7. “It was unbelievable that the Lakers picked the second pick. It was a dream come true. They didn't want anything at all to do with me at that time.
Fultz was not a Sixers player, but they preferred Fultz's skillset — he was regarded as a better passer and shooter — to go with their young stars..
Many draft analysts deemed it a good decision at the time. The Celtics made some headway when they revealed that Tatum was rated the best player in the draft throughout.
Tatum was the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year out of high school. However, he was not selected for any of the No. He was unable to attend the No. 1 meetings after sustaining a foot injury that prevented him from attending the first month of his freshman year at Duke.
Scheyer states that the first part of the season is the most difficult. This is when you get a feel for speed and spacing. Scheyer also explains that there is an adjustment period. Scheyer says that Scheyer was the best player in the nation for six weeks, but it wasn't even close. People just caught up with me. [what happened] “Earlier in the season.”
Danny Ainge, the Celtics' general manager, was in New York in March to witness Tatum play in ACC tournament. In a win over North Carolina, Tatum scored 24 points. He also collected 19 points and eight rebounds during a victory against Notre Dame.
Ainge considered Fultz the top player for some time, but everyone did. A league source said Fultz then came in to work out, missed many shots, and didn't seem well.
Ainge was forced to think about Tatum after Ainge saw the Celtics trade him in Los Angeles. Tatum, long considered a midrange shooter who had previously worked with Hanlen, impressed the Celtics, sinking three-pointer after three pointer. He was larger and could make different shots.
There was only one question: would they take him No. 1., or make a trade with Philadelphia.
“After my exercise, I still remember one of the [Boston] Scouts approached me and said that it was a great exercise. I'm so excited for you. But we got the No. Tatum laughs and says, “We're not going pick you because we have the #1 pick.” Tatum laughs, “He still works with the Celtics now. So I f— with his every day.”
Tatum politely declined naming the Scout, but Tatum can still laugh about this comment. Brett Brown, former Sixers coach, can also laugh about that comment. You could say it's sort of.
According to league sources, Brown passed Tatum on his way to the bus after the Sixers beat the Celtics in round one of the 2020 playoffs. Tatum was complimented by Brown and he noted his hard work.
Tatum was grateful for it. Each of them recognized how different their careers would have been if the Sixers had gone in a different direction in 2017, but it was not necessary to dwell on this. Brown ended the conversation by telling Tatum, “Philadelphia's mistake in not drafting him” that Tatum had made over the years and that he wished he had had the chance to coach him. Brown was pleased to find a good home in Boston.
Brown was fired one day later.
IT IS A PART OF THE COURSE Now it seems so obvious. After the most successful season of his professional career, Tatum led the Celtics to their first NBA Finals.
Tatum, 24, dished out 13 assists Thursday in a Game 1 victory, which was the most for a player in his NBA Finals debut, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He scored a team record 28 points in Game 2 on Sunday, but struggled with his rhythm in the second period of a 107 to 88 loss. He was one of only three players to average at least 30 points from the All-Star break through the end of the regular seasons. He also scored 50% of his field goals and shot 40% beyond the arc. He has also improved his defensive skills, stopping Brooklyn's Kevin Durant in round one of the playoffs. Also, he limited an injured Jimmy Butler in the Eastern Conference finals in Miami.
This season, he was the MVP of the conference finals and was an All-NBA first-time selection. Tatum's rise to stardom was not a smooth one, according to even his most loyal supporters.
He displayed flashes in his rookie season when Boston won the conference finals ahead-of-plan in 2018. The following seasons were filled with inconsistency. It was difficult to set expectations for Jaylen Brown, Boston's young star. Tatum did not lose faith.
Tatum states, “I believe that if you aren't confident it's because your craft is not believed in.” “But it's impossible to believe in yourself and be confident when you put so much work in and work so hard.”
Bryant was Bryant's idol growing up. It wasn't your typical No. It was not the typical 24-year-old childhood infatuation. Tatum loved Kobe. At the age of 10, Bryant went with Team USA to Beijing 2008 Olympics. Bryant had ice bags on his knees and was showing up at the office while the rest were eating breakfast. Chris Bosh, a Team USA teammate, said that Bryant was pushing himself harder than anyone he had ever met. He woke up at 4 AM to go to the gym. “That meant we all were going to push our limits.
Tatum would outwork everyone just like Kobe. Tatum would get up at 5:30 each morning with the key to Chaminade College Prep gym and go to class with Hanlen. His mom wasn't an early riser. He would hear her tell him that “I can’t want it more” than she did. He was still asleep, so she told him to get up. When she woke up, he was already gone.
Bryant reached him to discuss the matter, even though he was still a school-kid anxious.Tatum was able to produce the following on Tatum in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals.
Tatum did not know Bryant was making the episode about him. Tatum looked at his smartphone after practice to see a lot of messages that had the video attached. He probably watched it at least twenty times.
Tatum stated that Tatum went to him and received a text message. Tatum said that he was like, “Hey, what's the matter? This is Kobe. You are doing a great job. I am excited for you. Keep it up. He replied, “This summer, you can contact me if you are ever in L.A..” I was twenty-one at the time. I was 20.
“It was one the most memorable moments in my life.”
Tatum took a screenshot from the text. Tatum accepted Bryant's offer that summer. When he arrived in L.A. he called Kobe.
Tatum still watches Kobe videos when he is in need of inspiration or a boost. There were many of those moments this season.
In mid-January, the Celtics were 11th in the Eastern Conference. This prompted renewed calls for Jaylen and Jaylen Brown to be traded. Critics said that they weren't able to co-exist and didn't distribute enough ball. Are they both good enough to be the top player on a championship-winning team? They still needed a third star to lift them above the rest?
Tatum said that there were moments during the season when Tatum wondered “Damn, I'm good enough?” Do I have the ability to be the champion? You might think, “Man, maybe I'm just not ready.” I kept believing in myself and did what got me to this point, trusting that things would change.
Hanlen, who trains Embiid also, said that Embiid will fly Tatum out of town quickly if he is struggling. Tatum is known for his inability to speak up. Hanlen didn’t wait for Tatum to call, and he sputtered earlier in the season. At halftime, he jumped on a plane and the pair returned to the lab.
Tatum often thinks back to his mom when he needs inspiration. Tatum got her bachelor's (and master's) and law degrees, while simultaneously juggling motherhood, work, and family.
Tatum said that Tatum dropped her off every day at school. “She picked up me every day. She brought me to every practice. Even if she was studying for the bar exam, she came to every practice. She did it all. Because my mom was always there to support me, she inspired me. She assured me she would support me in all my endeavors, but she was tough with me. She did not allow me to make excuses.”
BRANDY COLE STILL Jon Scheyer describes these tacos as “high level” because they are made with hard shell tacos. Tatum will return to Boston at 2 AM after a long road trip. He'll text his mother that he has landed. Tatum will make a stop at her home, where she will prepare tacos.
Cole lives in Boston, next door to her son.
They share a driveway. Tatum will be on the road when Cole and her husband make Tatum's beds and do his laundry. It's not surprising that they are so close. Not when Tatum was little and trudged along to college with his mom. Cole watched as she cleaned houses for wealthy people and then saw Cole becoming a woman with a briefcase, a power suit, and a purse.
They have been through it all together. They had a joke when he was young, when he was so quiet but so focused. His mother was the only person who believed in him. He'd then ask her what she was doing. She would go into his bedroom and place two fingers on his wrist.
She'd reply, “I'm just looking for a pulse,” “making sure you are still here.”
She taught him to say thank you, no matter if it was a personal chef who prepared his meals, or someone slightly shocked that a NBA player could show such appreciation. She believed that her son and she could talk about all things.
One day, when she visited him at Duke during his first year, she noticed something was wrong. She wondered if it was the passage of a young man to independence. She tried to be patient with him, but it was too difficult. She'd cried when she dropped him at college. She knew that he was going to the NBA very soon and would never be returning to St. Louis.
However, on the trip to Durham there was a disconnect. He dropped her off at the Hotel that Night, and she gave a big hug. He said, “Listen, whatever it may be, I got your back.”
He called her at 3:00 a.m. He called her at 3 a.m. and told her that he was going be a dad. After a brief moment, she became quiet and felt exactly what her mother had felt many years ago. She assured him. He was not the only teenager who has to deal with financial issues. She told him that many teens have to do this, but that it would be a problem in the near future. She assured him that he could get through anything and that she was always there for him.
Jayson Tatum Jr., was born Dec. 6, 2017. Tatum's rookie year. Tatum says 2017 was his most memorable year. Tatum calls her son Deuce and Tatum, Deuce's mother Toriah Lachell is his co-parent. Senior and Junior spend a lot of time at Cole's house, as Tatum claims she has all the toys and food.
Cole will sit with Deuce in her lap and watch her son play. It's hard to not think about the symmetry, but Cole doesn't.
She says, “I am a strong woman who comes from a long line of strong females who didn't make excuses.” “It didn’t seem like a big accomplishment or anything. It's all part of what we do.”