Jayson Tatum Pokes Fun at Media While Reflecting on Historic Celtics Season

Boston's superstar brought up the criticism regarding the path the team took to the Finals during media availability on Thursday.
Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates
Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After winning Wednesday's Game 3 to go up 3-0 on the Dallas Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics are on the verge of history. In more ways than one.

They are, of course, one win away from immortalizing themselves in NBA legend by winning a championship. That is history enough for the players and coaches who have battled all season long to get here. But these Celtics are a historically dominant team, both in regards to NBA champions of the past and, specifically, Celtics championship teams of the past.

Along with enjoying the fourth-best scoring differential by any team in history when taking both regular season and playoffs into account, Boston could end up setting a franchise record for best playoff record in a single postseason run. The team will also likely end up posting the second-best record in one season in the organization's history.

Lead man Jayson Tatum was asked about how it feels for this team to be on the precipice of ranking among the best in the rich history of the franchise. His answer included a shot at the media narratives surrounding the Celtics' path to the Finals.

"That would be really cool," Tatum said. "But, you know, you guys would probably say we didn't play anybody to get here. So just gotta do it again next year."

A cold quote to end the presser on, that's for sure.

Should the Celtics win Game 4 and complete the sweep, they will post the best postseason record in franchise history at 16–2, just beating out the legendary 1986 squad that went 15–3 en route to a championship. Additionally, a win Friday would bring Boston's total record on the year to a cool 80–20, which is (again) bested only by the Larry Bird-led 1986 team that went 82–18. Considering many considered the 1986 Celtics one of the best teams of all time, it's not bad company to be trailing.

And Tatum has certainly earned the right to push back on the narratives surrounding his team's success, no matter how joking his tone. Heading into the Finals there was a not-insignificant swath of the media world who believed the Celtics had not faced true adversity in the playoffs because their Eastern Conference opponents were all missing their best players. There were many television segments dedicated to the idea that Boston might wobble when faced with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, better players than any the Celtics had come across so far.

Three games later, that argument no longer holds water. Tatum certainly knows it.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a senior writer for the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in May 2024, McKeone worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, he is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books and video games. McKeone has been a member of the National Sports Media Association since 2020.