An unknown exec rips Jayson Tatum: “he wants to win on his own terms”
ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED

An unknown exec rips Jayson Tatum: “he wants to win on his own terms”

Jayson Tatum’s four-game scoring stretch even left Bill Russell in awe. But is his score-first mentality hurting the Boston Celtics’ chances of winning a championship?

“Don’t Think He Cares About Winning”

The Celtics entrusted the key to the franchise to Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The front office has let go of Isiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward so Tatum could develop and become a bonafide superstar. And JT did just that, putting up superstar numbers in his third straight NBA season. However, an unnamed coach thinks he prioritizes stats rather than putting the team first. 

“Jayson Tatum is about Jayson Tatum,” an Eastern Conference coach told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I don’t think he cares about winning now, and if he does, it is on his terms. He doesn’t want to score 15 and win. He wants to score 39 and win.”

The small forward is averaging 25.7 points this season — a bit lower than the 26.4 points he averaged last year — but his shooting efficiency is the real problem. Tatum is only making 41.2 percent of his shots from the field and 33.3 percent from three. It’s commendable that he’s trying to shoot his way out of an efficiency slump, but that might be hurting the team’s win column, as well as their chemistry — the recent outburst when Marcus Smart claimed Tatum and Brown don’t want to pass the ball proves it.

Do Brown and Tatum like to play with each other?

It’s sad for Boston fans to see the team unraveling right before their eyes. The team spent many years rebuilding and setting up the stage for Brown and Tatum to take over and carry them to the promised land. 

The individualistic mentality also reveals the true relationship of the two stars: they might not want to play with each other. According to StatMuse, Tatum recorded 63 assists to Brown this season while Brown only recorded 20 assists to his partner. The discrepancy tells us they have a lot to work on in terms of trusting each other.

Their assists this season also went down compared to a year ago. Tatum’s shooting efficiency is down, his assists are down, and the team is hanging on to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference — they were able to bounce back after a horrific 2-5 start to the season.

Tatum and Brown need to involve their teammates more, even if that means scoring less. The front office can add another star, but if JB and JT don’t share the ball, it will scare other marquee names into joining forces. There is still a long way to go this season.

The Celtics can still turn things around and have looked like they’ve found the way to do so. But they’ll only go as far as Tatum takes them. And for them to become a true contender, their No.1 option should start prioritizing winning over stats. That’s something every superstar in the making needs to adjust to.