Jayson Tatum finally has earned the respect he has wanted from the virtual world.
The Boston Celtics forward has a 90 overall rating in “NBA 2K21,” the upcoming edition of the hit video basketball game. Tatum breaks the 90 mark for the first time in his career, seizing the title as Boston’s highest-rated player. Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are tied for second on the Celtics with 86 overall ratings.
2k Sports downgraded Tatum from an 87 overall rating in “NBA 2k19” to an 85 in “NBA 2k20,” prompting him to react with a surprised chuckle and call it “disrespectful.”
Tatum then emerged as an NBA superstar this season, garnering his first All-Star nod and a spot on the All-NBA Third Team. He told 2k Sports on Thursday he expected to enter the 90 club, and the game makers shared his live reaction to his rating.
“I feel good,” Tatum said about his rating. “You set out a goal before the season, and once you accomplish that goal, it feels good. And now we’re on to the next marker, what we’re getting to next year.
“… It’s important obviously because I enjoy playing the game,” Tatum said. “Everybody plays 2K. It’s something to discuss, to have dialog about, to talk about.
“We can have fun with it, but it’s also kind of a representation of reality. How you perform in real life, it translates to the video game.”
Tatum, other NBA players and fans will have the chance to begin playing under their new ratings Sept. 4 when 2k Sports releases “NBA 2k21.”