It feels fitting that the first Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP trophy went to a member of the Boston Celtics.
After the Celtics held on to defeat the Miami Heat in Game 7, Jayson Tatum took home the award Sunday after helping lead his team to a 100-96 victory. Tatum finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and one steal while hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range.
The three-time All-Star paid tribute to Kobe with a purple and gold 24 armband and also said he watched Kobe film prior to tip.
After the win, Tatum shared several photos on Instagram. The last of which was a screenshot of a message he sent to his mentor, Bryant: “I got you today.”
NBA fans had various thoughts about this:
The Celtics star scored 26 or more points in five of the seven games and averaged 25.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals a night throughout the series.
Tatum will have an opportunity to play in the NBA Finals for the first time in his career as the Celtics get set to face off against the Warriors.
The 24-year-old’s resume now includes an Eastern Conference Finals MVP, three All-Star selections and two All-NBA nods.