In his first public comments since Jaylen Brown signed the richest contract in NBA history last month, Jayson Tatum expressed unwavering support for his Boston Celtics teammate of seven years.
“Much deserved, it was a no-brainer,” Tatum told the Boston Globe’s Garry Washburn. “So I’m happy for him and his family. It’s life changing. It’s a big deal. I’m happy we’re going to have him for however much longer we’ve got him for. I’m happy about that.”
Tatum’s comments were made at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Springfield, MA, on Saturday night. He was invited by Dwayne Wade, who was one of 12 inductees for the Class of 2023. That storied group includes Spurs coach Greg Popovich, NBA champions Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and Tony Parker, and former WNBA star and current Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon, among other basketball legends.
Earlier at that ceremony, he shook his head “nah” when asked by Miami fans to come to the Heat. He was noted sitting near Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, and appeared in group photos with Dwayne Wade, Udonis Haslem, and Bam Adebayo, among others.
Jayson Tatum always wanted Jaylen Brown to return to the Boston Celtics
Tatum’s comments in Springfield are in line with his previous statements about Brown’s future with the Boston Celtics. Immediately after a blowout Game 7 loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum said it was “extremely important” to keep Jaylen Brown, and described him as “one of the best players in the league.”
And while Tatum hasn’t given many public comments about the team’s offseason moves, he spoke highly about Marcus Smart, his former teammate of seven years, at a golf Pro-Am Event in Memphis last week.
“They’re getting a leader,” Tatum told Mark Giannotto of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “They’re getting a guy who’s a winner, who’s been to the playoffs every year. Obviously extremely talented, the best defender in the league. He’s just a guy that you love to have on your team.”
Nevertheless, Tatum expressed excitement for the year ahead with the team’s revamped roster. “New year, I’m always excited for the new season,” Tatum told the Globe on Saturday. “It’s like a brand new opportunity. I’m excited to see what we can do and we have a couple months until we start, so I’m still going to enjoy my summer a little bit but it’s almost that time.”