BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics fans received a bit of a scare Wednesday when it was reported that Jayson Tatum was reluctant to play when the NBA returns to action next month. That report, however, has been debunked.
Phew. Hopefully Celtics fans everywhere were wearing facemasks when they let out their giant sigh of relief.
A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston is now reporting that Tatum is not considering sitting out the NBA’s “bubble season” in Orlando. The rising Celtics star (who is in line for a max extension this summer) is indeed worried about suffering an injury after a three-month layoff, but that won’t keep him from taking the court again.
“And when it comes to injuries, restart or not, players always run the risk of having one whenever they step on the court. Players have more concerns with the reboot to the season; I get that. But I just don’t see guys sitting out games because they might get hurt,” a league executive told Blakely. “They run that risk every time they play the game.”
So when the NBA tips off again down in Orlando on July 30, Tatum will indeed be in the Boston lineup ready to dominate the NBA again. The 22-year-old was having a breakout season this year, averaging a career-best 23.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while knocking down 45 percent of his shots from the floor. He was on quite a tear when the NBA halted play on March 12, averaging 28.2 points off 48 percent shooting (and 46 percent from three-point range) in his previous 20 games, including nine games of at least 30 points.