Jayson Tatum has played with several all-stars since being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2017, like Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Kemba Walker, to name a few. Playing with stars usually translates into success, so it would make sense that Tatum would like to play with more of them were he to be given that chance.
In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Bensinger asked point-blank which all-star Tatum would like to play with if he had his choice. Tatum chose his childhood friend.
“I would love to play with Bradley Beal,” Tatum said. “I like the idea of it. I know it’s a lot of technical things and things that probably don’t make sense, and you can’t make it happen to have to do with money and things like that, but yeah.”
Tatum then added other players that he would like to play with on top of Beal.
“Would I love to play with Brad Beal or LeBron or Steph Curry? These are guys I looked up to. That’s why you make the all-star game. Being on the same team as Embiid and LeBron and Anthony Davis and James Harden. You kind of get that during all-star weekend.”
Beal is entering the first year of the five-year extension he signed with the Washington Wizards
Tatum Would Welcome Kevin Durant
Throughout the offseason, there had been rumors circulating that the Celtics were in talks with the Brooklyn Nets for former MVP Kevin Durant. In the end, nothing came of those talks. When Bensinger asked how Tatum would feel about a Kevin Durant trade, Tatum made it clear he’d welcome it, but he would be sad to see his teammates go.
“It would be good, and then it’s tough because, regardless of who you get on your team, anytime you lose a teammate, it’s tough. It’s like losing a friend, and you understand it’s the business of basketball. So anytime you have to acquire somebody, somebody has to leave,” Tatum said.
Tatum elaborated more on the duality of such a scenario.
“Two things can be true at the same time. You can get better, but you don’t want to lose teammates. You don’t want to lose friends. Guys that I’ve been going to war with for five years.”
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Nets reportedly wanted Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart from the Celtics in exchange for Durant, but the Celtics declined.
Tatum Details Strained Relationship With His Father
As Tatum talked to Bensinger, he went into detail on what his relationship with his father, Justin Tatum, was like growing up.
“He was extremely tough on me. Cussed me out in front of everybody, embarrass me, humiliate me, throw the ball at me just because he wanted, in his eyes, me to be the toughest. He wanted me to be the best… If he made me upset, I would play better, and in a sense, I did. I would get so upset that I would play better.”
Tatum even gave specific anecdotes as to what his father would do to get the best out of him on the court.
“He would grab me by the shirt, pin me up against the wall and cuss me out in front of everybody and I would be bawling, crying. He called me out by name, but then I would come out at halftime, and I would outscore the rest of the team, and we would win. So in his mind, he needed to push my buttons to get me to a certain point.”