Jayson Tatum is the New Face of Boston Sports


Gone are the days of Tom Brady, David Ortiz and Mookie Betts being the face of Boston sports.  All three men are in new cities and in Ortiz’s case, he’s retired. 

Photo courtesy of cbssports.com

Last night it was announced that Jayson Tatum and the Celtics had agreed on a contract extension.  Tatum got paid, agreeing to a 5-year extension worth $195 million, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  He’ll receive the full designated rookie max of $163 million, which could go up to nearly $200 million with All-NBA escalators.

Tatum has come a long way since being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.  Good thing Ainge was able to twist the 76ers arm to trade for the No. 1 overall pick the Celtics owned.  Markelle Fultz has been the definition of a bust while Tatum has been a superstar in the making. 

During Tatum's time with the Celtics, he’s made the NBA All-Rookie First Team (2018), All-NBA Third Team (2020), and was an NBA All-Star this past year. 

Tatum’s 2020 season was his coming out party to the NBA.  He averaged career highs of 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals this past season.  Let’s also not forget the huge game against the Clippers before the All-Star break.  Tatum scored 39 points and held down Kwahi Leonard in the win.  Then he followed that game up with a 41 point masterpiece against LeBron James and the Lakers. 

The Celtics would go on to lose that game, but Tatum received some high praise from James.  The kid is special," said James following the game.   "Obviously, that's a reason he's a first-time All-Star, and he's been special all year."

The Celtics foundation is young and they’ll be together for a while.  Tatum and the Celtics fell short of the NBA Finals this past season.  The emergence of Tatum blossoming into a superstar has fans excited.  Tatum wants to raise more banners to the rafters and win championships with the Celtics. 

His mother, Brandy Cole-Barnes spoke about her son being a Celtic for life on social media. “He wants to not just say that he played here his whole career, but that he brought the city of Boston a couple of banners and his number is retired. I’m certain he would love that.”

This is only the third player that Danny Ainge has signed to a rookie max deal. He previously signed Jaylen Brown and Rajon Rondo. 

The Celtics are building their team around Tatum, he’s officially the alpha in the locker room. Tatum can be a number one player - he’s being paid like one now whether he wanted that responsibility or not. The nucleus is strong for the Celtics with Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart.  The recent additions of Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague put the Celtics back in the conversation for a deep playoff run. 

As the Celtics continue to mature and gel as a team, Tatum will now be looked at as the face of Boston sports. He’s got a young team around him, a city that supports him and the money to go along with that.  Now, just keep the Kardashians away from Tatum and we’ll be all set. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Jayson Tatum is the New Face of Boston Sports
Jayson Tatum is the New Face of Boston Sports
Boston Sports Syndicate
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