Jayson Tatum Explains Comment After Irking Andre Iguodala About NBA’s Best Player

Jayson Tatum

Getty Jayson Tatum continues to strive to be the best player in the NBA.

Former NBA players Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner took their “Point Forward” podcast to Boston recently and had a sit-down interview with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum. In his seventh year in the NBA, Tatum is fresh off his fourth straight All-Star season, and he’s been named All-NBA three times. He’s a rising star in the league, and some say he’s a top-five player in the NBA.

During the interview, Iguodala recalled a 2021 conversation he had with Tatum, one that didn’t sit well with the former Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors player. That conversation revolved around the best player in the league, and Iguodala said Tatum’s comment made his heart drop.

Jayson Tatum Failed Andre Iguodala’s Test in 2021

Before the meat of the interview started with Tatum, Iguodala reflected on a time in 2021 when he tested Tatum. He asked him a simple question to get a read on the mindset of the Celtics star.

“I check folks’ temperature by asking one question,” he told his co-host Turner, with Tatum sitting in the room. “It just gives me a feel for who they are.

“So I asked him who was the best player in the league. The answer he gave me, my heart dropped.”

“I said Giannis (Antetokounmpo) at the time,” Tatum said. “Context is important. This was right after they won the championship. I got a lot of respect for guys that get to the top of the mountain and then get over the mountain. At the time, they had just won the Finals. He had a hell of a run. So when he asked me, I was like, Giannis.”

Iguodala says he loves the way Tatum answers his questions, and said players like Tatum make his job as a podcast host and interviewer much easier. He did, however, say that wasn’t the answer he was looking for.

“It irks me,” Iguodala said. “Sometimes, I just want you to go crazy on ’em and just let ’em know.”

Tatum Doesn’t Lack Confidence in Himself

Tatum’s answer wasn’t wrong. Antetokounmpo won back-to-back MVPs in 2019 and 2020 before winning the championship in 2021. He was the talk of the NBA and helped turn the Milwaukee Bucks into a championship contender.

He said his answer back then doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe he’s not the best player on the court when he suits up.

“I mean, when I step on the court, I don’t step on the court and be like, ‘I’m the second-best player,'” Tatum said. “That never crosses my mind. Everytime I step on the court, I know and feel like I’m the best player on the court.”

Tatum certainly has come a long way since his days as a rookie in the league. With three All-NBA seasons under his belt, he’s proven to be one of the best. Last season, he averaged a career-high 30.1 points. He also put up career-bests in rebounds (8.8) and assists (4.6).

For Tatum to truly be considered the best player in the game, he needs to lead the Celtics to a championship. He’s been close, but he hasn’t gotten his team over that mountain like Antetokounmpo.

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