In a recent interview, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum has said he is one of the best players in the NBA at just 24-years-old with much more still to offer.
Tatum told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss earlier this week: “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.
“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.”
Jayson Tatum is confident the Celtics are ready to hang an 18th championship banner this season.
“We got this close, and we added two really good players. I think it makes us better.”
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 8, 2022
The Celtics fell short at the last hurdle in the NBA Finals against Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors in June, losing in six games as Ime Udoka’s side appeared to run out of gas towards the end.
Tatum was named to the All-NBA First Team and made his third All-Star appearance in 2022, alongside winning the inaugural Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP trophy after overcoming the Miami Heat in seven games.
The 24-year-old added that taking care of his body is one of the biggest factors this offseason, to ensure that he will be able to perform at maximum capacity in future deep playoff runs.
“Taking care of my body, changing my diet a little bit, because going to the finals is another two months added to the season. So, you want to make sure that you’re built for that stretch.”
Most playoff points before turning 25:
2,155 — Kobe Bryant
1,761 — LeBron James
1,693 — Jayson Tatum pic.twitter.com/cIHZW1dzjy
— StatMuse (@statmuse) August 8, 2022
The Celtics were 18-21 after a buzzer-beater loss to the New York Knicks in January, which in turn flipped Boston’s season on its head as they went on to finish with a 51-31 record and win the Eastern Conference.
Tatum finished 6th in MVP voting, behind Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker, and Luka Doncic. Taking away a difficult start to the season, the forward could’ve easily won the award.
“Yeah, not wait ’til January to be the best player. Have a better start,” Tatum said. “I think that just comes from making sure my body feels good from the jump and just dominating night in, night out. That’s what the best of the best players do.”
Boston are the current title favourites ahead of the 2022-23 season which begins in October, and have the potential arrival of Kevin Durant on the cards this offseason.