Boston Celtics

Flashback: Relive Tatum's game-winner in C's Summer League debut

This was a sign of things to come...

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Jayson Tatum is no stranger to putting in work during the summer.

The Boston Celtics forward is in Vegas this week as a member of the USA Basketball team training for the 2024 Paris Olympics, three years after helping Team USA win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021.

Four summers before that, a young Tatum turned heads during his very first appearance in a Celtics uniform.

On July 3, 2017, Tatum made his NBA Summer League debut for the Celtics against the Philadelphia 76ers and No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, whom Boston had the opportunity to select in the 2017 NBA Draft before trading down to No. 3 and choosing Tatum.

Fultz scored the game's first points, but Tatum saved the best for last, calmly drilling a pull-up jumper with 5.7 seconds remaining to lift the Summer Celtics to a dramatic 89-88 victory.

Check out the video player above to watch Tatum's game-winner and more game highlights.

It was a sign of things to come for the lanky 19-year-old, who finished with 21 points and seven rebounds in Boston's win while teammate and 2016 draft pick Jaylen Brown led the way with 29 points and 13 boards.

"He has this old soul … he doesn’t get rattled," then-Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen said of Tatum after the win. "Just kind of plays at his pace, like he’s been here before, at 19."

Fast forward to 2024, where Tatum can safely say he has been there before: The seven-year veteran boasts five All-Star nods, three First-Team All-NBA selections, 113 playoff games and an NBA championship on his resume.

That journey started in Salt Lake City back in 2017, and while this year's Summer Celtics don't have a Tatum-type prospect on their roster, the 2024 NBA Summer League will be a good opportunity to watch young players like No. 30 overall pick Baylor Scheierman, who became Boston's first Round 1 draft pick since 2020 last month.

The Celtics kick off their Summer League campaign this Saturday against the Miami Heat in Las Vegas.

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