Jayson Tatum silenced endless line of questioning from talking heads in 2023-24

The former Duke Blue Devil and now-NBA champion believes that one particular discussion is all over.
Jayson Tatum is definitively elite
Jayson Tatum is definitively elite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Jayson Tatum left Duke in 2017 and was selected by the Boston Celtics with the third-overall pick, stepping on the stage after Markelle Fultz (first-overall) and Lonzo Ball (second-overall). He's found a home in Boston and has now become an NBA champion — he has been seen pretty much everywhere with the Larry O'Brien Trophy from the insane parade to Fenway Park.

Now, Tatum believes that after earning his first ring and hanging up a banner in the TD Garden the "elite status" debate is over. The 26-year-old told the media during his Team USA activities.

"A hundred percent," Tatum said, shortly after participating in his first practice here after being excused from the opening two days of preparation for the Paris Olympic Games (h/t ESPN). "Just being at the topic of discussion of so many debates or whatever it is ... 'Can he lead a team? Is he a top-five player?'

The narratives were never ending for Tatum but he never let that alter his confidence or his game out on the hardwood floor. He overcame all of the doubters and answered those debates with a ring, giving the Cs their eighteenth banner.

What else does the media want to see out of Tatum?

All there's left to do for Tatum is to win MVP — and he's more than capable of doing so. The five-time All-Star is getting ready to enter the Olympics and face competition worldwide. There's no stopping him from playing basketball.

This is the only argument the media has left "against" Tatum but regardless it's hard to impose such a discussion when everything he's done this past June and before that is hard to counter.

Tatum will have his partner-in-crime Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White and the supporting cast to make another run for a title. He will not be able to win the MVP award without a solid group around him.

That's why there's no such thing as "I" in "team."