New Celtic Xavier Tillman Endorses Jayson Tatum’s MVP Campaign

Jayson Tatum

Getty Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum has a ringing endorsement for NBA’s Most Valuable Player from his Boston Celtics teammate Xavier Tillman. During his appearance on former NBA player Gilbert Arenas’ podcast, Tillman explained what impressed him about Tatum.

“I thought at first he was just a scorer until I realized his defensive, passing, and rebounding ability,” Xavier Tillman said, per Arenas’ X account. “If you leave him, he’s going to the cup and finishing and getting fouled. Or if you double him when he’s driving, he’s got this sick around-the-back he’s mastered. I didn’t have the respect for his passing ability before I got here. You don’t see the passing in the highlight reel you just see the scoring.”

Tillman then praised Tatum’s defense, singling out how he covered New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson on February 24.

“We went to New York, and [Tatum] had a couple of chances to guard Jalen Brunson, and he was lockin’ him up by stayin’ in front of him, movin’ his feet, showin’ his hands. He definitely needs to be in that discussion. Not to mention, we’re No. 1 in the league.”

Tatum, more likely than not, won’t win MVP, but being the best player on the NBA’s best team record-wise should put him in the discussion.

Xavier Tillman Explains Al Horford’s Influence

In an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, Xavier Tillman talked about what he hopes to learn from Al Horford.

“The thing that I personally, selfishly, want to learn from Al is longevity. What it takes to be in this league that long,” Tillman told Forsberg, per NBC Sports Boston’s YouTube Channel.

Tillman revealed what Horford told him about how he’s stayed a productive for as along as he has.

“A big thing he always talks about is being in the weight room and also making sure that you’re also eating the right foods. And that way, you’re not putting extra weight on your joints and your knees and stuff like that. But just learning from him. I want to play for a long time as well. So that’s me, selfishly.”

Tillman concluded by saying what else Horford has told him about how to stay in the league.

“And then, on the court for us right now, a big thing that Al has shown me is just being able to use my voice, especially if you know what you’re doing out there. It’d be great for you to help the guys see what you’re seeing.”

Horford is one of five players remaining from the 2007 NBA Draft.

Xavier Tillman Doesn’t Like Boston Traffic

Though Xavier Tillman has liked his time in Boston itself, he has some complaints about the traffic.

“The city’s very interesting,” Tillman said during an exclusive interview with CLNS Media. “Where I was in Memphis, I was in the suburb out there, so there wasn’t a lot of traffic going on. The roads weren’t crazy, pretty standard.

“When I got here, all the tunnels and the weaves and stuff. I was like, oh man, this is crazy. Traffic is bad out here. I’ve never been in the city vibe like this, so it’s been awesome.”

Anyone who has been to the city knows full and well how horrible the traffic is. Despite that, Tillman also talked about how excited he is to find the best restaurants in Boston.

“I found one good restaurant so far. Obviously, I haven’t been around to really explore yet. I’m a foodie myself, so there’s definitely a lot of restaurants I want to try out here.”