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Every athlete strives for victory, and when Jayson Tatum failed to capture the NBA Finals in the past season, it left him in shambles.
What Tatum said
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum was close to his first championship but couldn’t overthrow the Warriors, leaving a gaping hole in the days that followed.
In an exclusive interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, the Celtics star shared what he went through after the loss.
He spoke candidly and described how he struggled days after Game 6, saying he found himself in a “funk.”
“Those three, four days after (the NBA Finals), I was miserable,” Tatum revealed. “I really, really was.”
“It took some time to get out of that funk and just kind of enjoy my life and enjoy being around my son and family.”
“I feel like sometimes I come off so laid back that I don’t know if people understand how much I invest into this game,” he continued.
“How much I care, how hard I work, but it was just so tough because I literally gave everything that I had. To feel like I ran out, that I didn’t have anything left to give, and that we were so close…”
“I didn’t have an appetite, I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I didn’t want to go anywhere.”
Jayson Tatum’s influence in the road to the Finals
Last season, Jayson Tatum played an influential role throughout the Celtics’ campaign.
He was the engine and centerpiece in the team’s Finals journey, posting career-high points (26.9), rebounds (8), and assists (4.4) throughout the regular season.
Tatum’s performance earned him his first All-NBA first-team selection and getting named an All-Star for the third-straight year in a row.
Tatum’s drive to win is already incredible enough as it is, going as far playing throughout the NBA Playoffs with a fractured wrist.
The Celtics star revealed that he injured his hand in a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Super Bowl Sunday.
Tatum planned to have his wrist examined during the All-Star break. However, he decided to play through the pain to avoid missing any games.
He eventually agreed to get imaging done before the Playoffs, revealing a non-displaced fracture.
The bone had healed between the initial injury and the Playoffs, but there was enough pain to require a cortisone shot during the second round of the Playoffs.
Tatum previously acknowledged the injuring and told reporters about it in the second round against the Bucks.
“That’s something I’ve been dealing with for probably like two months now,” he told them.
“It wasn’t anything abnormal. When I fall on it, it bothers me.”
The extent of the injury was unknown, and no one outside the Celtics knew he was playing through the injury.
Instead, his shoulder injury received more attention after suffering a stinger over Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat.
Tatum said he wouldn’t need any offseason procedure on his shoulder.
He didn’t blame it for his inconsistent form during the postseason.
While Jayson Tatum isn’t one to use injuries as an excuse, the fractured wrist and sore shoulder shed light on his shooting and ball handling.
Regardless, Tatum is set to be in shape for the next season as the Celtics are tipped to be the favorites to win the East.