Jayson Tatum names 2018-2019, first half of Ime Udoka season his biggest Boston Celtics challenges

Jayson Tatum has been through a lot during his six and a half campaigns in the NBA, but according to the wing, two challenges stand out among them all.
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

As much as Boston Celtics fans want to believe Jayson Tatum is still 21---the reality is, he's not. The 25-year-old has been through quite a lot over the course of his six-and-a-half campaigns in green and white. Whether it was falling short in the NBA Finals or getting knocked out in the first round in 2021, the Duke product has been hit with numerous "speed bumps" throughout his journey to date.

In an interview with Hardwood Houdini's very own Andrew Hughes, Tatum expressed two obstacles that have stood out to him the most since coming into the league.

“Whether it was my second year after we went to the Conference Finals, then Kyrie, and Gordon came back and we were trying to integrate those guys back. That was a rocky season," Tatum said. "Whether it was the our 1st year with Ime, and we were 20 and 22 at one point and turned our season around, went 26 and 4, made it all the way to the Finals."

Any Celtic fan can recall those tough times. After having somewhat of a coming out party in his rookie year in the final two playoff series, Tatum was forced to adjust with two of the higher earners on the team returning to full health. No. 0 weathered that storm alongside one of the most selfish players in the association to become the leader the campaign after.

Jayson Tatum recognizes that his success with the Boston Celtics was built on what he's learned through hardships

There were some serious questions about Boston and Ime Udoka's Celtics when the team sat two games under .500 like Tatum said in January. Sparked by No. 0 in green himself on the road in Washington, Boston strung together 11 wins in 12 games between the end of January and the middle of February. The Celts weathered the storm until Tatum's production skyrocketed, averaging over 30 points and seven rebounds in 20 games post All-Star Weekend.

Tatum went on to say that every season presents its own challenges. Even with all the talent in 2023/24, there are going to be some hiccups. Some games you're going to shoot under 37 percent from the floor as a team. It's how you respond that is the difference between a pretender and a serious contender.