Celtics’ Jayson Tatum wants to ‘be one of the best to play this game’

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Justin Quinn
·2 min read
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Meme or no, Boston Celtics All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum isn’t 19 years old anymore, and it shows.

Speaking to the media after practice on Wednesday afternoon, the Duke product fielded questions from the press about his offseason, his supposed growth to 6-foot-10, the team’s preseason debut against Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia 76ers and more. Tatum made light of the “only 19” meme birthed by Weird Celtics Twitter over the last few seasons, and it shows no signs of falling off despite the former Blue Devil’s advancing age. Tatum also shared he’d added 10 lbs. in the short offseason, presumably muscle.

The additional attention the Missouri native began to receive later on in the 2020 Playoffs convinced Tatum he needed to step up his game even further than the already-dizzying heights he’s achieved.

“I was seeing a lot more attention, a lot more double teams, blitzing,” he explained. “I think it means I just have to elevate my playmaking ability, and make the game easier for the guys around me … getting other guys involved.”

You may have noticed we referred to the former Blue Devil as an All-NBA honoree, which by default placed him among the NBA’s 15 best players last season.

This begs the question of just how good the Celtic forward hopes to get.

His response to such a line of questioning was “I don’t put a ceiling on where I’m trying to get to. I want to be one of the best — I want to be one of the best to play this game.”

While he still has a very long way to go, it’s safe to say the St. Louis native has started the journey at a sprint — but will he have the endurance to get there?

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
+155+4.5O 222.5
Philadelphia
-189-4.5U 222.5