Following the Celtics’ 128-124 win over the Trail Blazers, Celtics big man Enes Kanter said two of Jayson Tatum’s teammates predicted the stellar performance from the young All-Star prior to Sunday afternoon.
Kanter, the host of The Enes Kanter Show, told NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg on Monday that seeing Tatum’s new haircut after Friday’s loss to the Bucks was enough proof to determine that Tatum had an epic performance in store for everyone. Tatum didn’t disappoint.
He finished with 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the floor against Portland, completing an impressive turnaround less than 48 hours removed from his abysmal 2-for-18 shooting night in the Celtics’ 119-112 loss against the Bucks. Kanter talked about where he and his teammates saw Tatum’s new hairdo.
“We were in the bubble and went to a restaurant and we saw Jayson Tatum was sitting there and he cut his hair,” Kanter told Forsberg. “We were like ‘What? Did you really cut your hair?’ and he’s like ‘Yeah, man I had to cut my hair,’ and we sit down somewhere else because he was sitting with one of our assistant coaches and one of my teammates was like ‘Yup, he’s going for 40. Watch.’ I promise you that’s what he said and I had a feeling like, yeah, he’s going to show (everyone) because people were so rough with him. He had one bad game.”
Kanter: ‘I Feel Bad’ for Whoever Guards Tatum
Kanter continued: “I looked at (Twitter) and I just felt bad for him, you know? But that just shows how much of a leader he is. He just did not care. He was like ‘You know what? Next game I’m going to show it to you,’ and then he cut his hair and went out there. I promise you I told myself whoever is going to guard him next game – I feel bad for them. Because I played for the Portland Trail Blazers so I was like whoever my ex-teammate is going to guard him, and I feel bad for him because he’s about to go off.”
Tatum Planned to Cut Hair Last Week
Tatum, alongside Jaylen Brown (30 points), helped seal the win despite blowing a 24-point lead. However, Tatum revealed Sunday that it wasn’t Friday’s poor performance that initially motivated him to lose his new long-haired look and that it was his plan all along.
“I was going to cut my hair before the first game,” Tatum told reporters in his postgame press conference. “But my mom, my grandma, a couple people, they loved the curls and they wanted me to at least play a game or two with them. I was like, ‘All right.’ I wanted to cut my hair before the real games started. I guess it was a coincidence, 2-for-18, that I cut my hair. I wanted to cut my hair before Milwaukee but it worked out.”
Tatum and the Celtics will try to do it again Tuesday night when they take on Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.