BOSTON (CBS) – An unnamed assistant coach recently shared a not-so-favorite view of Jayson Tatum, saying the Celtics star is more interested in scoring big nights than winning. Those comments were not sympathetic to Celtics basketball team president Brad Stevens.
In a piece by ESPN’s Tim Bontempts last week On Boston’s ups and downs to the 2021-22 season – and the problems it has caused the team in recent years – an anonymous Eastern Conference assistant coach said that “Jayson Tatum is about Jayson Tatum .”
They said: “I don’t think he’s interested in winning, and if he does, that’s on his terms. “He didn’t want to score 15 and win. He wants to score 39 goals and win.”
Stevens doesn’t mind that assessment of his star player, and he didn’t decline when asked about it on Thursday morning. The former Boston head coach watched Tatum form an All-Star pairing and helped lead the Celtics to two Eastern Conference Finals in their four years together. Stevens called those anonymous comments “stupid” for the time Thursday Morning Chat with Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
He also said that if someone couldn’t put their name on a review of someone like that, they probably shouldn’t have opened their mouths in the first place.
“If you can’t put your name on it, don’t say it. There’s no way the assistant coach would put his name in that statement because, first of all, he’s never been around Jayson. And second, Jayson would kill him every time he played with him for the rest of his career,” Stevens said. “That’s how the guys in this league are connected.”
Stevens says he is with Tatum every day and the 23-year-old strives to go above and beyond to be the best he can be for the team.
“He plays, he’s available, he’s competitive, he’s got a lot on his plate,” Stevens said. “He’s done more in his first five years in the league than in most leagues, hasn’t he? Totally, completely wrong in that guy’s assessment.
“Honestly, I think that quote is completely ridiculous,” Stevens continued. “I never react to that stuff and I actually sent a note to one of the people I work with like, ‘This is stupid.’ Just be around this guy every day. That guy loves to win. He sat there with his feet in buckets of ice water after every game we lost and he looked bored. This guy is competitive – I know that’s for real. I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Tatum has struggled with his shot this season, hitting only 39.7% overall and 31.9% from downtown – the lowest shot rate of his career. He’s still averaging 24.6 points with a career-best 8.9 rebounds along with 3.6 assists per game.
He had a team-high 26 points and a career-best 16 rebounds in Wednesday night’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He stalled late in the game when Dennis Schroder hurled a series of clutch baskets down the field to help seal victory, and consulted with an unnamed assistant when he was asked about his late-game approach. their own after Wednesday’s win.
“I saw a report the other day saying that I am a selfish player. That doesn’t seem selfish to me, but whatever it takes for us to win,” he said. “I guess more often it won’t be in my hands but we play 82 games in regular season. There will be some nights where you may need to create space in the floor and get the best defender out of the action, see what we get. ”
Tatum says he will go home and sleep well on Wednesday night knowing he contributed to the winning effort without major scoring efforts. He probably feels even better on Thursday knowing that Stevens has his back.
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/12/02/brad-stevens-jayson-tatum-anonymous-comments-ridiculous-idiotic-celtics-nba/ Brad Stevens Rejects ‘Ridiculous’ and ‘Dumb’ Anonymous Comments About Jayson Tatum’s Attitude – CBS Boston