Jayson Tatum hasn’t said much about Boston Celtics matters, which might impact his future heavily. That is until now.
The C’s forward at last commented on Boston’s recent shakeup, in which Danny Ainge retired after 18 years as president of basketball operations June 2, and Brad Stevens vacated his position as head coach to replace him as boss.
“I was shocked,” Tatum said in a column The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn published Saturday. “It wasn’t like I saw it coming.
“I?m happy for him (Ainge). Something that he and his family discussed, but he felt like it was best for him. It made sense, and I still have a good relationship with him. I don’t think anything will change in that aspect. He did what he thought was best for himself and his family. Sometimes change can be good, so we?ll see.”
Stevens was the Celtics’ head coach in each of Tatum’s first four NBA seasons. Here’s how Tatum views Stevens’ promotion.
“I’m just going to go with it,” Tatum told Washburn. “Obviously it’s a change going from my coach to being in the front office. Seeing him in a different lens. But it’s the business of basketball. It happened and you gotta keep going.”
Having consulted key players during the search for Stevens’ successor, the Celtics ultimately hired Ime Udoka as Stevens’ successor. Tatum has commented favorably on Udoka’s arrival but has said little to nothing publicly about either Ainge or Stevens since the shakeup that preceded it. Chances are Tatum needed to take some time off after Boston’s compressed 2020-21 season and reflect on the seismic events.
Oh and there also has been the not-so-small matter of the Tokyo Olympics, for which Tatum is preparing with hopes of leading Team USA to the gold medal in the men’s basketball tournament.
Nevertheless, Tatum certainly will have plenty more to say about all things Celtics in a few weeks’ time, if not sooner.