Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum deserves more respect.
After Saturday’s 119-114 win over the Golden State Warriors, pundits fawned all over Stephen Curry tying the late Kobe Bryant’s record for consecutive 30-point games, which is absolutely historic. But left in the lurch was Jayson Tatum’s own incredible night. Tatum and Curry had themselves a legitimate duel on Saturday, with the youngster scoring 44 opposite of Curry’s 47-point performance. Not only that, but Tatum grabbed himself a full on double-double with 10 rebounds, and had similar shooting splits to Curry as icing on the cake.
This performance finally got some attention when ESPN’s Bobby Marks admitted that he was wrong in sliding Tatum’s name down to the fifth slot in his annual “25 under 25” rankings. For those of you that aren’t in the know, the 25 for 25 rankings list the NBA’s best young players under the age of 25 by both current performance and potential for the future. Recent alumni include Nikola Jokic and Zach LaVine, while Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson topped this year’s rankings.
Now, it’s doubtful the Celtics all-star will pass Luka or Zion, which is understandable. Both are unique generational talents that are already acting as faces of the league.
But ranking him under Donovan Mitchell and LaMelo Ball is a slap in the face to the Celtics cornerstone piece.
Sure, Mitchell is one of the two leaders of the best team in the league by record, and LaMelo Ball is the most exciting rookie in the NBA by far. But Mitchell doesn’t do anything that’s off the charts (Utah is more of a team-centric system reminiscent of the 2014 Spurs) and Lamelo Ball is still super young.
To put it shortly, some might view Jayson Tatum and the Celtics as boring. He has the personality of unseasoned Ritz crackers, and his Subway sub of choice reflects that boring personality. But Bobby Marks summed up his disrespect perfectly:
“I’m watching the game on Saturday night, Golden State game, and I got my 12-year-old sitting next to me,” Marks said. “And he says to me, ‘Daddy… I don’t think Jayson Tatum is appreciated enough,’ and I said to him, ‘You know what, I think you’re right, I don’t think we do appreciate Jayson Tatum.’ “
It’s time to give the proper respect to the Celtics franchise leader.