After an ESPN report claimed that Brad Stevens’ agent was negotiating with the Lakers, a Celtics spokesperson released this statement: “We are aware of the speculation in media reports. We don’t comment on possible trade scenarios.”
Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics’ rookie forward, has been a breakout star this season. He’s averaging 17 points per game and is shooting 44% from three-point range. Jayson’s success has led to a lot of different reactions from fans and the media alike. One such reaction came in the form of an article by ESPN that claimed “Jayson Tatum is about Jayson Tatum.”
With a hint of sarcasm, Jayson Tatum answered. Brad Stevens, the former head coach, didn’t hold back. The Boston Celtics duo recently responded to an ESPN article claiming that one Eastern Conference coach felt Tatum didn’t place a high value on winning. While Tatum’s reaction to the charge was brief after Boston’s one-point victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Stevens, who is normally reserved, let off fury during an interview on a Boston radio station.
According to an ESPN report Jayson Tatum is just concerned about himself.
The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Brad Stevens watch as their team faces the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on June 1, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. | Getty Images/Steven Ryan
Last week, ESPN published a piece on Boston’s two rising talents, Jaylen Brown and Tatum. It was a paper that was replete with quotations from unnamed sources. An Eastern Conference assistant coach was one of those sources, and he stated Tatum was rather selfish.
The assistant coach said, “Jayson Tatum is about Jayson Tatum.” “I don’t believe he’s interested in winning right now, and if he is, it’ll be on his terms.”
“He doesn’t want to win by scoring 15 points.” He aims to win with a score of 39.”
Marcus Smart chastised Tatum and Brown for not passing the ball enough, according to the article. Smart made the remark after the Celtics squandered a 19-point lead against the Chicago Bulls in the third quarter at home earlier this season.
In the story, the Celtics’ hits kept coming.
“They’ve looked like (players) who truly don’t care about each other’s performance for years,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “In that perspective, the fact that it’s still raising its head is not unexpected.”
Brad Stevens responds to ESPN’s article.
“To be honest, the quote was really ludicrous. I never respond to that, and I actually wrote a message to one of my coworkers saying, ‘This is dumb.’”
On @Toucherandrich, full Brad Stevens on anonymous statement that Jayson Tatum doesn’t care about winning. pic.twitter.com/WbqW6OM3wI
December 2, 2021 — Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_)
Stevens expressed his displeasure with the article during an appearance on the Toucher and Rich Show on the radio. Former Celtics coach and current front-office official Brad Stevens supported Tatum while slamming the assistant coach who said the Celtics star was self-centered.
Stevens said, “If you can’t put your name on anything, don’t speak it.” “That assistant coach would never put his name on that comment because, first and foremost, he has never met Jayson.” Second, for the remainder of his career, Jayson would kill him every time he played him. That’s how the players in this league think…
“I’m going to take that with a grain of salt.” Because I’m with him every day, that phrase was a comedy to me. You look at him and see that he plays, that he’s accessible, that he competes, and that he has a lot on his plate. Isn’t it true that he’s accomplished a lot more in his first five years in the league than the majority of the league? That guy’s evaluation was completely incorrect.”
Stevens had a few more tricks under his sleeve.
“To be honest, I thought the comment was completely ludicrous,” he stated. “I never respond to such stuff, and I actually wrote to one of my coworkers and said, ‘This is dumb.’ Just spend every day with this man. That person thrives on victory. After every game that we lose, he sits with his feet in the ice bucket, looking dejected. This man is a fighter. That is something I am certain of. I’m delighted he’s a part of our group.”
After defeating the 76ers on Wednesday, Tatum replied to the allegations.
The ball is generally in Tatum’s hands when the game is on the line and the Celtics need a basket. However, that was not the case on Wednesday night, when the Celtics defeated the 76ers 88-87. Tatum did not touch the ball on Boston’s last three possessions, according to Mass Live. Instead, Dennis Schroder took over for the last stretch.
Tatum was questioned why he wasn’t the go-to guy in the final stretch. In his postgame news conference, he mentioned the ESPN story, albeit he wasn’t as worked up as Stevens.
Tatum remarked, “I saw an article the other day that suggested I was a selfish player.” “It sounds selfless of me, but whatever it takes for us to win, I’ll do it.” I suppose it’ll be in my hands more often than not, but we have 82 games in the regular season. There will be times when you’ll need to spread the field, take the greatest defense out of the game, and see what we get.”
Tatum ended with 26 points and 16 rebounds despite not taking command in the final minutes. After the game, he seemed to be a little irritable.
“I still had the upper hand,” Tatum remarked. “Despite not scoring 30 or 40 points, I was still able to have a significant effect on the game and win.” “Go home and get some rest tonight.”
RELATED: After Marcus Smart called him out last week, Jayson Tatum retaliated: ‘I Can Play Basketball,’ says the narrator.
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