Celtics Fans Will Adore Jayson Tatum ‘Genuine Love’ Remarks After Game 7

'I can't express it enough: the genuine love that I kind of feel from the crowd'


May 15, 2023

Boston Celtics fans should want Jayson Tatum in green for the foreseeable future. Forever, perhaps.

And they should be thrilled to hear it seems that’s exactly what Tatum wants, too.

After Tatum dropped a record-setting 51 points in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on Sunday, the All-NBA First Team selection confessed his love for the Celtics organization, its fans, and the city of Boston.

Sure, emotions were high. It came immediately after Tatum delivered not only one of the franchise’s best-ever playoff performances but one of the best in league history. His teammates called it “remarkable.”

Nevertheless, his sentiments felt incredibly genuine. That was the word he used himself.

“I can’t express it enough: the genuine love that I kind of feel from the crowd,” Tatum said after Boston’s 112-88 beatdown of the Sixers. “Whether it’s pregame, during the game, at the free-throw line. I’ve been here my whole career. I feel that they embrace me almost as one of their own and that means a lot.

“I love being here, I love getting to put on this uniform. I love getting to play big games and put on big performances in front of them. They feed off of emotion and energy and it’s reciprocated. I can’t express enough that I just love being here and love playing in front of this crowd.”

Tatum initially was showered with cheers when he was shown on the TD Garden jumbotron before the game. He paused his stretches and threw his two arms in the air, calling for more noise. It set the tone before the ball was even thrust into the air between NBA MVP Joel Embiid and Celtics starting center Robert Williams.

It remained that way throughout the contest, too. Tatum’s third-quarter surge in which he scored 17 of his 51 points brought on deafening levels of cheers. And the typically reserved Tatum gave it right back. He reacted with well-deserved salutes to the crowd after just about every bucket. Both his unmatched swagger and appreciation were on display when he put the 5-0 up with his hands to mark the milestone. Only Stephen Curry had ever scored 50 points in Game 7, doing so earlier this spring.

“I gotta give a lot of credit to the crowd,” Tatum said, both he and fellow Celtics star Jaylen Brown citing how Green Teamers answered Brown’s call-out before the winner-take-all contest. “We needed that. This is probably the loudest the Garden’s been in like a year. And we fed off that energy. The energy that gave us today really helped us. And we’re going to need that the rest of the way. They feed off us, we feed off them. You could just feel it. The building was rocking. Everybody was standing up. My emotions kind of got the best of me in that moment, in a good way.”

Tatum earned his second consecutive All-NBA selection last week. It made him eligible to sign a five-year, supermax contract next summer. Brown, an All-NBA Second Team honoree, also became eligible to sign a supermax extension as soon as this offseason. ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst believes Boston’s tandem is here to stay, despite some of the outside noise and speculation that has hinted otherwise in the past.

Tatum’s reflection after one of the biggest moments of his six-year career indicates he wants it that way.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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