After becoming the youngest player in Boston Celtics history to score 10,000 points this week, franchise face Jayson Tatum revealed some surprising doubts he had before he arrived in Beantown.
Over his first seven seasons in Boston, Jayson Tatum has gone from being a talent-rich lottery pick to a legitimate superstar player in the league. His rise has been steady as he went from averaging just over 13 points in his rookie season to an MVP candidate posting over 30 per game during the last two seasons.
That rise and consistency has led to being placed in a special category all by himself in the storied history of the Boston Celtics franchise. On Saturday, the 25-year-old became the youngest player in team history to score over 10,000 career points. Almost a full year ahead of the previous record holder Antoine Walker.
“Ten thousand points sounds crazy to just think about,” Tatum said after his team’s 124-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. “I always think about when I was a kid growing up with my mom and saying I wanted to be in the NBA. I may have thought I would be one of the best players, but to actually do it is a surreal feeling.”
Jayson Tatum feared playing for Boston Celtics in rookie season
Tatum’s 10,016 points is 14th on the Celtics all-time list, and he arguably has another decade of high-level basketball still in front of him. Yet, this level of success in Boston was something he had doubts about when he entered the league back in 2017.
After the win, Tatum also claimed that when he was drafted by the team eight years ago, he wasn’t sure he could meet the standard the team had started to create after back-to-back winning seasons before he joined the roster.
“Man, I was ignorant when I got drafted,” he said. “First of all, I didn’t even want to come because I didn’t think I was going to play. They had Gordon [Hayward], Jaylen Brown, Isaiah Thomas, and [Marcus] Smart, and I didn’t think I was good enough to be on that team. So, it didn’t even cross my mind how to close a game or how to finish. I was just more concerned about getting in the game and starting.”
Obviously, Tatum far surpassed those early fears and is now a four-time All-Star who will likely earn a fifth trip this season.