April 19, 2024

GettyBoston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum reacts while playing against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Life is pretty good for Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum.

The 25-year-old is the main player of one of the NBA’s premier teams. In 2023–24, he will earn $32.6 million, and for the next two seasons—assuming he accepts a $37.1 million player option for the 2025–26 campaign—his salary would only increase. In basketball circles, he is well-known, and his Celtics are dominating the Eastern Conference with a record of 16-5 after the first-ever In-Season Tournament mini-break.

Even though it may be difficult to believe, three-time NBA champion Sam Cassell believes that Tatum’s life can improve even further.

Sam Cassell Explains how Jayson Tatum’s Life can ‘Get Better’

The explanation is simple: Go win a title.

Of course, that’s easier said than done.

In an interview with Khari Thompson of Boston.com, Cassell described the possibility of Tatum winning a championship with the Celtics as “life-changing.” His life is now wonderful. These folks lead wonderful lives. However, things can improve in Boston if you win a title. You can trust that things will get a little better. It’s quite acceptable to win a championship in Boston.

Cassell knows a thing or three about winning titles.

After starring at Florida State, he entered the NBA as the No. 24 overall pick of the 1993 NBA draft, immediately landing with a competitive Houston Rockets squad led by Hakeem Olajuwon. Though he came off the bench in both seasons and averaged single-digit points as a role player, he won titles during each of his first two professional campaigns.

Cassell went on to make one All-Star roster, earning the nod when he averaged 19.8 points and 7.3 assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2003-04, but he went over a decade in the Association before he again reached the mountaintop. This time, it came with the Doc Rivers-helmed, Ubuntu-preaching Boston Celtics in 2007-08.

The C’s acquired the then-38-year-old by signing him three days after the Los Angeles Clippers waived him at the end of February ’08. He played just 17.6 minutes per game for the rest of the regular season and came off the bench to fill a small role during the playoffs, but that didn’t lessen the sweetness of his third ring.

“Winning a championship in Boston was real, real special. They came out in Houston, but they really came out in Boston. To win a championship in Boston, with that tradition, that alone is huge,” Cassell told Thompson.

“Winning in Houston was great because it was the first one that the city ever had. I will never forget it,” he continued. “But, the Boston one was like ‘wow’. Maybe because I was so young that I didn’t really realize what a championship was all about the first two years. Then I went 12 years without winning another one. Winning another one with the tradition here was wild.”

Boston Celtics Positioned Nicely for Title Pursuit

 

 

Jayson Tatum’s résumé is already superlative.

Since he joined the Celtics as the No. 3 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft, he’s made four All-Star teams and earned three All-NBA nods while establishing himself as one of the league’s premier individual players. He’s also made the playoffs in all six seasons of his career, though a championship has eluded him to this point.

Boston has made the Eastern Conference Finals four times during Tatum’s Beantown tenure, but it’s posted a 1-3 record in the penultimate round. The only victory came in a seven-game series at the expense of the Miami Heat in 2022, though Boston went on to lose to the Golden State Warriors in six games on the sport’s biggest stage.

So far in 2023-24, Tatum and the Celtics are tracking toward another deep run.

With a 16-5 record, they lead the Eastern Conference, and the underlying numbers support their potential as a powerhouse.Based on strength of schedule and margin of victory, Basketball Reference’s simple rating system (SRS) places Boston (10.22) significantly ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (8.33), Oklahoma City Thunder (7.18), and Minnesota Timberwolves (6.48). With a 4.28 SRS, the Brooklyn Nets, in fifth position, leap above all other teams.

NBA blogger Dan Favale stated on Bleacher Report that the Boston Celtics’ sixty victories “almost feels like a formality” in his post-In Season Tournament record projections. They could be bitten by injury bugs. Al Horford is 37 years old, and Kristaps Porziņāis has already missed time due to a strained left calf. Key absences, however, are a warning sign for any squad. Boston is more resilient than most when it comes to them. Its elite players are unequaled in the Eastern Conference.

If the Celtics can get over the 60-win mark, Tatum might have a pretty fantastic life, possibly even earning some genuine MVP discussion. If there is a title at the end of the tunnel, that would be much better.

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