Kendrick Perkins is not pleased with what he has seen from Jayson Tatum lately.
The Boston Celtics star got off to another slow start in Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Tatum has just five points in the first half despite finishing the game with 20. He completed seven of 17 shots (41.2%) but went 3-for-10 (30%) beyond the arc.
This isn’t the first time Tatum has taken a while to warm up this season, and Perkins is tired of it. The former Celtics star fired off a tweet calling out the Celtics youngster, who signed a full rookie max extension last offseason.
“Jayson Tatum, you got paid the big bucks! You have the body language and energy level of an underpaid player and it’s hurtin’ the team. Time to step up and live up to your role, straight up. Carry on…”
Perkins was not done there, though. He continued his critique of the 23-year-old during NBC Sports Boston’s postgame show.
“When you get paid the big bucks, there’s a lot that comes with it,” he said. “… I’m one of the few that is always lobbying for Jayson Tatum. I think he’s a special talent, I think he’s one of the most offensively gifted players in the league. With that being said, there’s still a certain type of leadership role on the court, a certain type of tenacity, a certain type of age, a certain type of swagger that you have to play with. When you look at all the other stars around the league, they compete. They compete. They compete. They compete. They don’t have bad body language. They’re enthusiastic. They’re supporting their teammates. They’re always talking to their teammates. And it’s part of him, I guess, growing. But you’ve got to have that. You’ve got to learn those leadership skills.”
Tatum and the Celtics do not have much time to turn things around, either. There only are 21 games left in the season, and Boston now is eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Time to find a solution, and fast.