During All-Star weekend, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum shared a bold opinion on his status in the league compared to other stars.

Even though the 25-year-old forward has generated some talk around the league from analysts and support from Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, his numbers are not the same as other candidates like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.

“There’s been a lot of talk about that the last couple of days, and those guys are putting up ridiculous numbers every night and doing a lot for their team,” Tatum told reporters after the Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, per NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “I have no problem with those guys being the leaders of the MVP race. I’m not saying I needed to be first. I just had a problem with some people on TV saying the reason I won’t win this year is because of something that happened two years ago. That was my only disconnect.”

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Tatum is averaging 27.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Celtics, and Boston owns the NBA’s best overall record at 44-12. This year’s Celtics team has a bigger focus, and that’s winning Banner No. 18.

“I won’t have the points per game that the other three, four guys will, but I think the voters are smart enough to understand the dynamic of our team,” Tatum said. “Essentially to do less scoring on certain nights but still impact the game in a lot of what to kind of ensure that we win every single night, that we’re in first place. That’s we’re trying to be the best team.

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“That everybody on the team feels valued and that it’s not just about me because I’m gonna need everybody down the stretch. We’re going to need each other for what we’re trying to do … to try and win a championship.”

The five-time All-Star added that he knows he can score 30 points a night like he has in the past, but that’s not how this Celtics team is built.

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“The human side is you want to continue to average more every year,” Tatum said. “… You know you can do that, but part of growing is understanding what we have and this window, trying to maximize that. … Took some time for me to understand. I know I can score 30 a night, I did (in the past). But, that’s not necessarily what this team needs on a nightly basis. Taking that step back in a sense for us to be better, I’ve done that.”

Tatum has made it clear that he wants to be MVP but believes he has to win a championship before he can clear the final hurdle.

Featured image via Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports Images