Jayson Tatum wishes to eventually make Boston Celtics’ Mount Rushmore
There’s no question that Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is one of the best two-way wings in all of basketball.
He’s racked up four consecutive All-Star bids and is a three-time All-NBA honoree–including twice on the first team–in six seasons. He will be entering his age-25 season in 2023-24 after averaging 30.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals on 60.7 percent true-shooting last season.
It’s more about stats and accolades in Boston, however; championships matter, and Tatum desires to be on the pedestal of all-time franchise grants.
“I would love to be on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics,” Tatum said. “(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, and I believe I will be.”
There are other names you could argue for a Celtics Mount Rushmore, such as Red Auerbach (he might be a coach, but he absolutely deserves consideration), John Havlicek, Robert Parish, Sam Jones, Bob Cousy and Dave Cowens, among others.
Tatum could eventually make his way onto that list, should he win at least one or two NBA Titles with Boston throughout his career.
“Just recently I started to feel the connection with Boston. I have spent my adult life here, my son has grown up here, I’ve grown up here. I’ve accomplished so many things,” Tatum said. “You never know what can happen, but I love playing for the Celtics. I figured out my space in the city and have grown to really enjoy it. I love the fans. It would be really hard to leave this place.”
He’s gotten close. Tatum’s already been a part of some grueling playoff runs, having made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons–all coming against the Miami Heat. They are 1-2 in those series, losing in six games in 2019-20 and in seven last season, but ended up victorious in 2021-22 in seven games after winning three consecutive games in Miami.
He averaged 21.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists on 36.7/45.5/65.6 shooting splits (48.1 TS%) in six NBA Finals contests against Golden State. The Celtics currently enter 2023-24 as East Favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Well, Vegas believes so, at least.
Tatum will be eligible to sign a five-year supermax next offseason that could be worth up to $334 million–joining Jaylen Brown, who signed a five-year, $304 million supermax last month. Tatum’s supermax would not kick in until the 2025-26 season.
“He had a hell of a year, the best year of his career, and he was rewarded for that. It was the right time. People make a big deal of $300 million. The NBA makes a lot of money. Contracts will be $350 and then $370 million,” Tatum said. “That’s the way it’s going. I was happy for him. I knew it was going to happen, it was a no-brainer, but I still reached out to him and told him he should be proud of himself and his family. Don’t take it for granted. This is generational.“
Could Jayson Tatum eventually be in the conversation for their Mount Rushmore? Let us know in the comments!
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