For young superstar Jayson Tatum, the 2021-22 campaign was akin to a breakout season. He had his best stretch ever, with career highs in points (26.9), rebounds (8.0), and assists (4.4).
He also led the Cs to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010, when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen battled it out against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
With a few weeks to reflect on the season and his development as a player, Tatum spoke to reporters this week and dropped this truth bomb about his game:
“(I learned) that I’m 24 and one of the best players in the world and that I will compete against whoever and take on that challenge,” Tatum said. “In that same breath, I feel like there’s so much I could be better at, and I think that’s the exciting part. That I’m at where I’m at, where there’s so much more I can be, so much more I can learn and so many more experiences to go through.”
For Tatum, though, he has seen enough to know that he can get it done with this team, and expectations couldn't be higher for the young and ambitious Celtics.
“It’s not a ‘for sure’ thing, you know. You have to put in the work. You have to take the right steps,” Tatum said. “But I’m positive that we got the right group that will buy in, and we can’t look past anything and just try to coast our way to the finals. We gotta start from training camp. We gotta start from Day 1.”
Even without Kevin Durant or any other big-name player, Boston can make a lot of noise in the East next season. They have the star power, depth, and experience to go all the way.
Tatum knows that now and has the confidence in himself and his squad to feel good going up against anybody in the league. For the first time in his career, Tatum proved he's one of the big fish, and the basketball world has officially been put on notice.