Celtics

Jayson Tatum says he would choose Damian Lillard to take the last shot in a tight game

Tatum also offered his thoughts on missing All-NBA teams.

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum believes he should have made an All-NBA team. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Celtics star Jayson Tatum has hit a lot of big shots in his career, but who would he choose to take the final shot in a close game if he couldn’t choose himself?

Tatum had two answers on a recent podcast appearance, which might simultaneously annoy and intrigue Celtics fans.

“I played with Ky, so I’ve seen Ky hit a lot of big-time shots,” Tatum said the Kicks’ Beyond the Media podcast. “It would probably be him or Dame. Those two guys have had a lot of big shots in their career.”

“Ky,” of course, is Nets guard Kyrie Irving whose postseason performance left no love lost with Celtics fans.

Advertisement:

Dame, of course, is Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who reportedly might request a trade this summer.

Later in the interview, Tatum noted that he believes he should have made the All-NBA team this year for reasons that go beyond the millions of dollars he lost as a result.

If Tatum had made any of the three All-NBA teams, the max extension he inked on his rookie-scale contract would have bumped up from 25 percent to 30 percent of the salary cap — a pay increase that would have netted him roughly $33 million more over the course of his contract.

But Tatum said he was more upset that he missed out on an honor he believed he deserved.

“I know I should have made it with the season I had,” Tatum said. “I mean, $33 million on the line, obviously, that would make anyone feel some type of way.

“And I wasn’t necessarily upset about losing the money. I think I just felt like the way I was playing, everything I did, I thought it should have been a no-brainer. I think I was just more frustrated with that.”

Tatum noted that the media votes on All-NBA, but the criteria isn’t entirely clear.

Advertisement:

“Is there a certain amount of games you need to play? Should you be in playoff contention?” Tatum said. “There’s a certain amount of points you should average, depending on your position. I think there should be something like that in place because I think if you just allow people to just vote … and there’s nothing set in place, like, ‘you gotta play this many games’, whatever it may be. I think that would help it out a lot.”

Tatum will have plenty of opportunities to make All-NBA throughout the course of his career, although none would have made as significant a financial impact as this one.

“I know nobody’s going to necessarily feel bad for me and [Jazz guard] Donovan [Mitchell] because we still get paid a lot of money,” Tatum said. “But I just felt like I deserved to make it.”

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com