Jayson Tatum is about to enter his seventh season as a member of the Boston Celtics (wow). Throughout his tenure, he’s been able to consistently help the Cs be amongst the league’s top contenders, appearing in four Eastern Conference Finals and one NBA Finals.
Despite the large amount of success at his young age of 25, Tatum has greater goals when it comes to his place in the pantheon of great Celtics players. He recently gave some insight to The Messenger’s Jeff Goodman.
“I would love to be on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics,” Tatum told Goodman. “[Larry] Bird, [Bill] Russell, Paul Pierce and those guys. They paved the way. The one thing all those guys have is chips. I have to get to the top of the mountain to even be considered as one of those guys. I want to be an all-time great, I want to be known as a winner.”
Aside from winning a title in Boston, the St. Louis native also wants to be recognized for his work on the defensive end. He explained to Goodman that he hopes to be named to one of the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
Boston Celtics fans should be thrilled with these Jayson Tatum quotes
Jaylen Brown just signed the largest contract extension in NBA history. Tatum is due for an extension of his own next summer, which the Celtics will undoubtedly be offering him.
Even once he signs the dotted line, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be in green for its entirety — that’s just not how the NBA works anymore. Contracts are less of a guarantee that a player will be a member of whichever organization that he signs with, but more of a guarantee that he’ll be getting paid to play in the NBA.
Just take a look at the major storylines from this summer. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard requested a trade with five seasons left on his current contract. James Harden opted into the final season of his deal with the Philadelphia 76ers — only to immediately request a trade.
Tatum’s public interest in not only remaining with the Celtics but also etching his name amongst the franchise’s other legends, is something that the fanbase should be absolutely buzzing about. He very well may be the most talented player to come through the organization since Bird, even though he hasn’t been able to deliver a title just yet.