Jayson Tatum Had Classy Answer on Not Worrying About NBA Finals MVP

Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the third quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center.
Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the third quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Celtics are up 3–0 on the Dallas Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals, and could win a championship on Friday night in Game 4.

Forward Jayson Tatum is ready to add a championship to his resume, but not just for himself. He wants to win the title for all of his teammates, too. So, he isn't really focused on the additional accolades winning the finals can bring, like being named the NBA Finals MVP.

"Finals MVP or whatever, a champion is a champion. That's the goal," Tatum told Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes. "I want for my teammates what I want for myself. I want everybody to shine. There's enough attention for all of us. And so, I want everybody to give us theirs."

Tatum added that because the Celtics recently lost in the NBA Finals, back in 2022 to the Golden State Warriors, he wants to win this title to prove the doubters wrong. Critics will emphasize that while Tatum has earned some of the top achievements in the NBA, he still doesn't have a championship.

"Because I've been here before, and I know what it felt like to lose [in the Finals] and that was the worst feeling ever," Tatum said. "That was the worst summer I ever had. I made the All-Star team five times. I'm All-NBA first team year after year. The only thing they said I haven't done is win. ... I just vowed to myself that if I ever got back to the Finals, then I would literally do whatever I needed to do to ensure that we have a different outcome."

If the Celtics win the franchise's 18th title on Friday, the organization will lead NBA history for the most titles as the Los Angeles Lakers have 17. The Celtics last won in 2008.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated, where she specializes in tennis but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining SI in 2022, Williams worked at The Sporting News. Having graduated from Augustana College, she completed a master’s in sports media at Northwestern University. She is a dog mom and an avid reader.