SLAM magazine warns that Jayson Tatum was sent to destroy your favorite team

We all know that Jayson Tatum is special. We knew it almost right away. His playoff performance last season sealed it. We are certain he will be at least very good - likely even great - but to get to that top-5 player echelon, by his own words, Jayson may have that one vital quality for success in life and many of the endeavors contained within it.

I have learned many life-lessons in my time on this earth, and the one thing needed for success in life - with your family - at work - and in your dealing with others is that you need to like who you are. Tatum does, and here are his own words (per SlamOnLine's Alex Squadron):

Yet there is a switch—one that renders the on-court (Jayson) Tatum distinct.

“I am very arrogant. I have this thought inside my head when I step on the floor,” Tatum pauses for a second and smiles. “I feel good about myself.”

“There’s a competitiveness in him that I don’t understand where it came from,” his father says. “I know it’s my passion for coaching and his mom’s drive and what she does and the structure she gives. I don’t know if all that combined in him, but he doesn’t care who you are or what stage it is or where you’re at. He doesn’t care if he has flip-flops on—he’s going to go at you. He doesn’t care if it’s in front of 20,000 people or if it’s the NBA Finals.”

Jayson talks of his arrogance, but he is not talking about the boisterous, in-your-face, the-hell-with-you type of arrogance. Their is no conceit or feeling of self-importance about him. He is talking about having extreme confidence in what he does, and how he does it. He is secure about himself at a young age.

What really sealed my respect for Tatum was his no-second-thoughts take-down of Marcus Smart as Marcus was about to try to take J. R. Smith's head off. That did it for me. He was secure enough in himself - and sure enough that Marcus' needed to be stopped - that he acted quickly and decisively. No arrogance about it at all. Just confidence in what needed to be done - and what he had to do.

So now we see Jayson on the cover of Slam magazine. What does it mean to him (per SlamOnLine's Alex Squadron):

“Man, it means everything,” Tatum says. “I’m not one to ever take anything for granted. It’s one thing to say you want to be on SLAM one day, but it’s a different feeling when it actually happens.”

That feeling may be surreal—to finally hold the magazine in his hands and flip through the glossy pages—yet anyone who has ever known Jayson can’t say it’s a huge surprise.

He was bound to be here. There was no other option.

Tatum's second-grade teacher suggested to him that his goal of going to the NBA was unattainable, but Jayson knew where he was destined to be even then. Brian Scalabrine told me that Jayson (and Jaylen Brown) had his head on straight, and it started early. I see poise, confidence and self-control in him - with no indications of what he calls arrogance at all. Slam magazine obviously sees what we see. This young man is geared for stardom, and as the Squadron article warns, was sent to destroy your favorite team! Jayson knew that in the second grade.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Photos via Drew Anthony Smith and Slam magazine