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Jayson Tatum opens up about the most crucial advice Mike Krzyzewski told him

It was Mike Krzyzewski who pushed Jayson Tatum to have a score-first mentality mindset.
Jayson Tatum opens up about the most crucial advice Mike Krzyzewski told him

Jayson Tatum is playing like a true MVP this season

Before Boston Celtics' forward Jayson Tatum stepped foot in the NBA, he had a remarkable career at Duke University during his collegiate years. Tatum, who averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game at Duke, was a one-and-done player and mentee of the university's head coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

But before Tatum averaged 45.2 percent from the field and made the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshmen team, he was called out by Krzyzewski in a tough film session.

In his latest appearance on "The Draymond Green show," the 24-year-old opened up about one of the most fruitful pieces of advice he had received in his career.

"'I didn't bring you here to be good,'" Tatum remembered Krzyzewski telling him. "He said, 'I need you to be special.' And, like, anytime in the game, like the next day in film, if there was a shot I could've shot it, he would always pause in the film, 'You being soft. We don't need you to be soft. We need you to be you," Tatum added.

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A product of Krzyzewski's impressive coaching

Before Tatum committed to Duke, he was named the 2016 Gatorade National Player of the year during his high school years. Krzyzewski recruited him and helped the rising superstar develop more. The wing-forward once thought being a good teammate meant sharing the scoring load, which affected his aggressiveness. It was Krzyzewski who pushed him to have a score-first mentality mindset.

Thanks to Krzyzewski, Tatum's scoring has helped him transition to the NBA smoothly. The 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is easily considered one of the best scorers in the league today. His scoring continues to increase (Tatum is currently averaging a career-high 27.1 points per game) every year. The Celtics have significantly gotten better, thanks to Tatum's development over the years.

A potential MVP next season

In the same episode, Green mentioned that Tatum should be the MVP next season. While it's still risky to put in your bets for this, the 6-foot-8 forward can certainly make a case for the award next year if he keeps his performance up. The Celtics will be in the second year of head coach Ime Udoka's tenure, and they also might have a more experienced roster that's better than what they are now.

That's undoubtedly a scary sight for the league as Tatum admits that he and his running mate Jayen Brown are still fully developing.

"I just turned 24, JB is only 25. We still not as good as we gon' be," Tatum said.

Tatum and Brown's Celtics (48-30) are currently third in the Eastern Conference. If they're already poised to be a threatening force right now, what more in the future? Tatum only continues to get better, and if he increases his scoring production again, the Duke alumni might just win his first MVP award next year. 

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