Jayson Tatum turns from fan to foe in LeBron James battle

Jayson Tatum turns from fan to foe in LeBron James battle

May 10 (UPI) — The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum was just a kid trying to get LeBron James to follow him on Twitter in 2012. Now he’s playing against him in the Eastern Conference finals.

Tatum’s Celtics face James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. But before the big game, the Twitterverse had some fun with Tatum’s timeline on the social media platform.

Users pulled up a photo of Tatum with James when he was a boy.

“@KingJames, follow back,” Tatum wrote on April 13, 2012. “It’s Larry Hughes’ nephew from St. Louis and Abe and R.J. lil cousin and Justin’s son. Follow Back.”

Tatum, now 20, was 14 years old at the time of the post and James was playing for the Miami Heat. He was teammates with Hughes for nearly three seasons as a member of the Cavaliers, before his blockbuster free agent departure.

He met James and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant through Hughes. James and Tatum even played in a game of one-on-one in 2007, according to an article on Tatum published Sunday by Yahoo Sports. He could have been 9 years old in the photo he posted with James.

Tatum averaged 13.9 points and five rebounds per game in his first NBA season. James posted 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game in his 15th season, playing all 82 games for the first time in his storied career.

The rookie was asked about slowing James in the series against the Cavaliers after the Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers.

“You know it’s my first year,” Tatum said on TNT. “I don’t know. I don’t have the answer.”

James follows 181 accounts on Twitter, none of which are Tatum’s.