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Every athlete fights for victory and when Jayson Tatum failed to make it to the NBA Finals last season, he was left in ruins.
What Tatum said
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum was close to his first championship but was unable to overthrow the Warriors, leaving a hole open in the following days.
In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, the Celtics star shared what she was going through after the defeat.
Speaking candidly, she described how he fought for days after Game 6 and said he was in a “funk”.
“Those three, four days after (the NBA Finals), I was miserable,” Tatum revealed. “I really, really was.”
“It took some time to get out of that funk and just kind of enjoy my life and enjoy being around my son and family.”
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“I feel like sometimes I come off so laid back that I don’t know if people understand how much I invest into this game,” he continued.
“How much I care, how hard I work, but it was just so tough because I literally gave everything that I had. To feel like I ran out, that I didn’t have anything left to give, and that we were so close…”
“I didn’t have an appetite, I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I didn’t want to go anywhere.”
Jayson Tatum’s impact in the journey to the Finals
Last season, Jayson Tatum played an influential role throughout the Celtics’ campaign.
He was the engine and centerpiece of the team’s Final run, posting career highs (26.9), rebounds (8) and assists (4.4) throughout the regular season.
Tatum’s performance earned him his first All-NBA First Team selection and was named an All-Star for the third consecutive year.
Tatum’s desire to win is already pretty incredible, having played in the NBA playoffs so far with a broken wrist.
The Celtics star revealed that he injured his hand in the victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Super Bowl Sunday.
Tatum had planned to have his wrist examined during the All-Star break. However, he decided to face the pain to avoid losing any matches.
Eventually he agreed to imaging before the playoffs, revealing a nondisplaced fracture.
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The bone had healed between the initial injury and the playoffs, but there was enough pain to require a cortisone injection during the second round of the playoffs.
Tatum previously conceded the injury and told reporters about it in the second round against the Bucks.
“That’s something I’ve been dealing with for probably like two months now,” he told them.
“It wasn’t anything abnormal. When I fall on it, it bothers me.”
The extent of the injury was unknown and no one outside of the Celtics knew he had played through the injury.
Instead, his shoulder injury got more attention after he suffered a sting in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat.
Tatum said he didn’t need shoulder surgery this offseason.
He didn’t blame him for his inconsistent form during the playoffs.
Although Jayson Tatum isn’t using injuries as an excuse, the broken wrist and sore shoulder illuminate his shooting and ball handling.
Either way, Tatum will be in good shape for next season as the Celtics are considered the favorites to win in the East.
Jayson Tatum on emotions after NBA Finals loss: ‘I was miserable’
Celtics’ Jayson Tatum says he played through fractured wrist during Playoffs