Even if Jayson Tatum and his Celtics lose the Finals without him performing well in the remaining games, he would still be a league superstar.
Jayson Tatum is a proven playoff star. In the 2018 Playoffs, at 20-years of age, he averaged more than 18 points in the 19 games the Celtics played in his first year in the league. That average was higher than his regular-season that and the following year.
Although his performance comparatively dipped a bit in next year’s postseason, he had 25.7-10-5 and 30.6-5.8-4.6 in the 2020 and 2021 playoffs. C’s never reached the Finals in any of those four years.
But leading a young team to 2/4 postseasons within the first four years of making it to the league? Several superstars couldn’t do it that early, and mind you that Tatum has played just one year of college basketball.
There is no doubt that the 3x All-Star is already a superstar in the league, but Fox Sports 1 is giving it a rethinking because of his recent form in the NBA Finals. Really?
Jayson Tatum is no different than Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, or Dwyane Wade, who all needed a veteran star to lead them to a championship.
Underperforming at THE grandest stage cannot affect the superstar status in any sport. Aron Rodgers has won it all just once in his 17-year NFL career, and the only time he made it to the Super Bowl. Do we debate his stardom? Of course not.
There shouldn’t be any debates on Tatum as well, but FS1 thought it’d be a good idea to do a segment “Is Tatum’s superstar status in jeopardy after his Game 4 performance?”. But thanks to Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Kevin Wilds, none of them were too wild. They went against the topic.
Broussard had the best explanation in making a case for the 24-year-old forward who is shooting miserably at 28% inside the arc while the rest of the aspects of his game are still at a superstar level. Apart from his Magic Johnson mention, the veteran analyst was on point.
“Jayson Tatum is not playing like a superstar but that doesn’t remove his superstar status. … It’s not unusual for a superstar to struggle in their first Finals, especially under these circumstances.” — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/5twQvpNZuz
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) June 13, 2022
The Duke alumn has had some challenging games in every series this postseason, but the man came back stronger the very next match each time. Let’s see what a series of struggling games brings out of him in the next three possible games.