He couldn’t play or practice with his team, but Jayson Tatum still got valuable experience during the NBA’s pandemic pause.
While the league and its Players’ Association negotiated terms for a return to play plan, Tatum and teammate Jaylen Brown, who is the vice president of the NBPA, were heavily engaged in the process, according to NBPA executive director Michele Roberts.
Tatum reportedly even helped spearhead an effort to get the NBA to agree to a league-financed insurance plan.
The 22-year-old forward revealed Tuesday that it was Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and president of the NBPA, who requested Tatum assist in negotiations between them and the league.
“It’s fascinating, the work that goes on behind the scenes that the outside world doesn’t always hear about,” Tatum said on a Zoom call from the Auerbach Center, via Forbes’ Chris Grenham. “They’re always working, always listening.”
He also shared how it was cool to be involved in those discussions with Brown.
“It was cool to be in there to listen and give my opinion on certain subjects as one of the younger guys,” Tatum added, per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe.
Tatum may be young, but his game is respected across the NBA. And as it appears, his leadership skills apparently are regarded highly too.