Chris Forsberg

Jayson Tatum reflects on wild weeks since Celtics' title

The C's star is gearing up for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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LAS VEGAS -- Over the past 22 days, Jayson Tatum has …

Is there any rest on the horizon for Tatum?

“After we win this s--- I’ll get some [downtime],” Tatum playfully quipped after detailing the whirlwind start to his summer, this after he helped Team USA stiff arm Payton Pritchard and the Select Team in a scrimmage on Monday afternoon in steamy Vegas. 

Tatum, still basking in the championship afterglow, expressed great appreciation for his new deal, but more so how it reflected Boston’s desire to keep him around long term. 

“I'm thankful, grateful. It’s not about the money,” said Tatum. “I've been fortunate enough to make more than I ever thought I would ever have and take care of my family. For me, just to feel wanted -- they want me to be here and want me for the long haul and spend my whole career here. I have nothing but love for the fans, the city, and the organization. 

“We just won a championship and I want to try to win as many as I can.”

Tatum expressed excitement with the Celtics currently slated to bring back 13 of the 15 roster players from last season. 

“We got a hell of a team,” said Tatum before gushing about the team’s depth pieces. “I think the camaraderie that we had, we were such a close-knit team that we all got along really, really well and I was looking for it. 

“I didn't really want to change it. I thought we had a really, really good team on all fronts, as long as we stay healthy.”

Tatum joked that coach Joe Mazzulla was already talking about next season when Tatum was in the facility to ink his extension last week. 

“Joe was already trying to draw up s--- for next season and I was like, ‘Joe, f--- that. We just won the championship. Like enjoy it. Relax. I’m not worried about any sets that you’re trying to put in right now.’ We had a good laugh about it.”

Tatum believes a weight has been lifted from his shoulders after winning a title and he’s hoping a title will force pundits to reconsider their discourse on his career.

“I’ve done something they can’t debate,” said Tatum. “I won a championship … There’s still conversations to be had or whatever people want to say, but they’ve always got to refer to me as an NBA champion.”

Tatum admitted the Celtics being up for sale took him by surprise, but said he does not expect anything to change in the team’s quest to win titles. 

“People have decisions they have to make, what’s best for them and their family,” said Tatum.  “I think they've done a great job of reassuring all of us that the day-to-day things won't change and our culture will be the same.”

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