The Celtics star opened up about his disappointment with coming up short against the Warriors, telling Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks that he still hasn’t gotten over it. Tatum also shared some insight on the physical pain he played through against Golden State, revealing that he played through a significant injury during the NBA Finals.
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Tatum Hurt Over Finals Loss
The Celtics had a hot start against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, coming from behind the win Game 1 and regaining a two-games-to-one lead after the Warriors knotted the series at one. But Steph Curry and the Warriors took over from there, winning two straight games before closing out the series with a Game 6 win on Boston’s home court.
When Rooks asked Tatum what will be his lasting image of the NBA Finals, the Celtics star said it was watching the Warriors celebrating their title on his own home floor.
“Us walking off the court at home and seeing them celebrate on our floor. That is an image, a memory, a feeling that I’ll probably never ever forget,” Tatum said.
Rooks asked how often Tatum recalls the hurt, and he said “every day.”
“And it doesn’t help every time I see someone, you know, ‘Man good job in the finals. You’ll be back. I was rooting for you.’ I’m just constantly reminded every day, and that’s the tough part about the offseason after you lose,” he said.
“Human nature wants you to be like, ‘I just can’t wait to get back there,’ but nope. You’ve got to start back over, you’ve got to take the proper steps. You’ve got to rest and recover, get ready for training camp, go into training camp and all preseason, start the regular season. It’s a process, you can’t just coast through it.”
Tatum had another recent reminder of his loss to Golden State. He was on the guest list for Warriors big man Draymond Green’s wedding last weekend, where there were a number of current and former Warriors in attendance.
Though they battled in the NBA Finals, Green shared a mutual respect for Tatum and offered some praise throughout Boston’s playoff run. After Golden State’s Game 5 win, he offered a lofty comparison.
“The only player that you can come even remotely close to comparing him to in this league is Kevin Durant,” Green said in an episode of the “Draymond Green Show.” “And we all know how I feel about Kevin Durant and what I think about him on the offensive end. One of the greatest scorers we’ve ever seen.
Tatum Played Hurt
It’s not just emotional pain that Tatum has been dealing with. He revealed to Rooks that he played with a fractured wrist for two months, including the NBA Finals against the Warriors.
“It was small, but it was still like a non-displaced chip. So like I chipped a bone but it didn’t leave the surface,” Tatum said. “But it had shown that the bone had grew over it so it healed, but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it. So I guess I played with somewhat of a fracture for like two months.”