Although he nearly reached the top of the mountain in the NBA Finals this past season, Celtics star Jayson Tatum revealed that coming up just short of his first championship hurt so badly that he found it difficult to function in the days following his team’s loss to the Warriors.
In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Tatum opened up about his emotions after Boston lost to Golden State in six games. He spoke candidly, sharing that he struggled to enjoy the days after Game 6 and found himself in a “funk.”
“Those three, four days after (the NBA Finals), I was miserable. I really, really was,” Tatum explained. “It took some time to get out of that funk and just kind of enjoy my life and enjoy being around my son and my family.
“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. How much I care, how hard I work,” he continued. “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.”
Tatum, who earned his first All-NBA first-team selection last season, was the engine that kept the Celtics humming throughout last year’s campaign and was the centerpiece of the team’s run to the Finals. He posted career-highs in points (26.9), rebounds (8.0) and assists (4.4) during the regular season on his way to being named an All-Star for the third-straight year in a row.
Despite his stellar individual output, Tatum couldn’t quite carry Boston to victory against an experienced Golden State team. However, the Celtics will return next season with most of their roster intact and should be well-positioned to compete for a title once again.
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