Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Sounds Off On MVP Chances: I Have A Problem With People Saying I Shouldn’t Win Because We Lost 2022 Finals

After the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls last night (2/22), Jayson Tatum talked about his MVP chances this year with NBA reporters. 

Jayson Tatum, NBA, Boston Celtics

Tatum said he’s upset at the people who have said he shouldn’t win MVP because the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. 

“I’m not saying I needed to be first,” Tatum said, via The Athletic. “I just had a problem with some people on TV saying the reason I won’t win this year is because of something that happened two years ago.”

The Celtics were up 2-1 in the 2022 Finals against the Warriors before losing three games in a row. Tatum averaged 21.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the Finals while shooting 36.7% from the field, 45.5% from 3 and 65.6% from the foul line. 

Boston has the top record in the NBA this season at 44-12. Tatum is averaging 27.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He’s fifth in the league in total points and ninth in points per game. 

“I think it just took some time for me to understand, like, I know I can score 30 a night,” Tatum said. “I did that. But that’s not necessarily what this team needs on a nightly basis. So taking that step back in a sense for us to be better, I’ve done everything but win a championship. That’s all I’m gonna be judged on at this point of my career, so just doing what it takes to help us get to that point.”

Most people believe Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic or Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will win the MVP Award this season. While Tatum would love to win MVP, he’s more focused on winning a championship. 

“Would I love to win? Yes,” Tatum said at All-Star weekend. “But apparently losing the finals two years ago affects what people think now. I guess I’ve got some ground to make up.”

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