Jayson Tatum Gets Honest About NBA Finals Pressure

Tatum

Jayson Tatum has spoken honestly about the championship pressure surrounding the Celtics as the franchise gears up for Game 1 against the Mavericks.

Tatum is a five-time NBA All-Star, has been selected in the All-NBA team four times and won ECF MVP in 2022, but is yet to win a championship.

He was asked on Wednesday if there’s a different level of pressure playing for a franchise that is attempting to claim a record 18 chips.

“I mean, you know the answer to that,” Tatum said. “Of course.

“We only hang NBA championship banners, right? 17 of them. Some of the greatest players to ever play this game wore this uniform. All of us are honored to follow in their footsteps, the way they paved for us to live out our dream.

“Essentially, yeah, if you want to be one of the greats to put on this uniform, every great before you won a championship. That’s what we try to play for every single season. The expectations are obviously different here. It takes special players to be here and to be a part of an environment like that.”

The 26-year-old has been in this position before, having been in the 2022 Finals and lost against the Warriors.

He says he doesn’t give himself the liberty of fantasising about what a Finals victory would mean and is trying to take it all as it comes.

“Yeah, honestly, I don’t think about the future or what this may mean for me down the road,” Tatum said. “As simple as it sounds, just try to stay present, stay in the moment, enjoy it, right? Keep talking about pressure, pressure, pressure… It’s the NBA Finals. This sh*t is supposed to be fun.

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“That’s kind of where I’m at with it. I’m in the NBA Finals. I have a second opportunity to win a championship. I want to enjoy it. I want to enjoy the moment, enjoy it with my teammates and my family.

“So that’s where my narrow focus is at: competing at a high level, finally getting to play tomorrow, just having fun. Just going out there and doing what I love to do.”

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