Is Jayson Tatum is a Thing or Not a Thing?

'Get Up' discusses Jayson Tatum.
'Get Up' discusses Jayson Tatum. / ESPN
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The Boston Celtics have a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. They are now 14-2 in the postseason after posting an NBA-best 64-18 record in the regular season. Right now the only thing that should be giving Mavericks fans any hope is the possibility that Kristaps Porzingis might have hurt his calf during Game 2. A Celtics championship feels inevitable.

This has taken the air out of the Finals and left the media grasping at straws right now, which is why there's a lot of focus on the alpha dog situation that may or may not be playing out in the Celtics locker room. It's the same situation that has existed there for years in Boston as both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown became All-Stars and All-NBA-level players and taken the team to at least the Conference Finals in four of the last five seasons.

And an extension of that discussion is just how good is Jayson Tatum? Is he the fifth- or sixth-best player in the NBA? Will he ever win a title? If he does win the title, how will it affect his legacy to have good teammates? Is he an NBA Twitter Problem or an actual problem right now?

That's the question posed by Mike Greenberg to Alan Hahn on Get Up following Tatum's latest poor shooting performance in the Celtics' Game 2 victory.

"So just finally, Alan, just put a ribbon on this for me," Greenberg said. "You're a talk show host. I'm a talk show host. This Jayson Tatum thing. I want to play a new game. It's called is this a thing or is it not a thing? Is the Jayson Tatum thing a thing or not?"

Hahn did his best to play along with Greenberg's thing question. explaining: "It's only a thing where we put him now among the best players in the league. That's where it's a thing."

Seemingly confused by Hahn saying, "it's a thing," Greenberg interjected, "It's not a thing."

Hahn continued: "Maybe this is a great team, but I don't know if he's someone you put top-five in the league if he's relying on team play more than I'll have a game where we win a championship because of my performance."

The thing is, this apparently wasn't the answer Greenberg needed. "Fair enough," he said, "So I still don't know if it's a thing or not a thing."

Before moving on from America's favorite new game, Hahn added, "It's a thing."

So it is a thing. It's not a thing that is keeping the Celtics from having a thoroughly dominating season that sure looks like it's going to end in a title, but it is definitely a thing, but no one can tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, it's a thing that will allow the media to keep trying to tear apart the Celtics.

Tatum is a winner, but not in the right way, despite pretty much doing everything the right way. He has averaged 24.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks in 110 postseason games in his career. He team goes deep into the postseason every year and he's on the precipice of winning a title. That kind of seems like a good thing, but the thing is some people aren't convinced.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.