Jayson Tatum Bites Back at Celtics Champion

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Despite the Boston Celtics defeating the New York Knicks on December 8 and a career-first triple-double for Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum found himself receiving some criticism from former Celtic Kendrick Perkins.

“Jaylen Brown completely took over this game with his first triple double of his career! Played a perfect game while Jayson Tatum went 6/14 from the field. They got the win tho! Carry on,” Kendrick Perkins wrote on Twitter following the game.

It’s true that Tatum struggled from the field against the Knicks and looked a little passive on offense at times. But this wasn’t a bad game from the 23-year-old All-Star. Tatum regularly initiated the offense and made the correct play, keeping the flow of the offense alive.

In the role that Tatum is being asked to play, there will be nights where his scoring takes a back seat, and if the team wins in the manner it did on December 8, that should be acceptable. Furthermore, Tatum’s role allowed Brown to flourish as the team’s primary offensive outlet, and considering how long we’ve all been calling for the pair to play together, it feels strange we would criticize one of the duo when they actually put it into practice.

Tatum Responds to Perkins Criticism, Perkins Claps Back

Perkins gave his take on Tatum’s performance almost as soon as the Celtics game finished. Yet, the usually quiet Tatum didn’t let this latest opinion from a former Celtics champion slide.

Of course, Tatum’s response wasn’t the end of the story. During NBC Sports Boston’s post-game on December 8, Perkins was asked about his tweet and Tatum’s subsequent response.

“First of all, if the world hasn’t noticed, that I don’t give a d***. The second thing is this. I wasn’t saying this to kill Jayson Tatum or put him down. What I was saying was my point that I’ve been bringing up pre-game. I want to start seeing both of them, on a consistent basis, put together great games between the both of them.

That’s what I said I wanted to see, and not only do I want to see it, many people around the country and around the world want to see it. They want to see if Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can co-exist. Meaning I want to see a night where Jaylen Brown has 39, and Jayson Tatum has 35, and they win,” Perkins said.

Tatum’s play this season has indeed been patchy. The St. Louis native had a slow start to the season before ramping up his production when Brown was out with a hamstring injury and then with COVID. The pair have scarcely played together through the first half of the 2021-22 NBA season, and as such, it will take time for the pair to re-develop some on-court chemistry in Udoka’s movement-based system.

Twitter Reacts to Perkins Comment, Tatum’s Response

You can always count on Celtics Twitter to come out fighting when they feel one of their players has been disrespected, so when Tatum chooses to clap back at Perkins, it should be no surprise how the digital fanbase is reacted.

Some Twitter users took a moment to remind Perkins that it was Tatum who dominated the Celtics December 6 meeting against the Knicks, despite the team’s loss.

Others decided to remind Perkins of his career shooting averages.

“6/14 would’ve been a career night for you. Carry on…,” @Marc_E_Marcus wrote.

And, of course, the majority of fans were quick to leap to Tatum’s defense, noting that he didn’t have a particularly poor game.

“6-14 not bad lol u just like talking,” @94Seals_ responded.

“6/14 isn’t bad, lol,” @Reylotruther wrote.

Hopefully, Tatum and Perkins can put this altercation behind them so that the Celtics and their star player can focus on continuing their improvement ahead of the December 10 game against the Indiana Pacers. And who knows, maybe it will be Tatum’s turn to drop a triple-double.


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