‘I don’t know how we keep going backwards’: Jayson Tatum reacts to NBA 2K rating

"I scored 50 in the playoffs twice, four 50-point games."

Jayson Tatum NBA 2K
Jayson Tatum isn't pleased with his new NBA 2K rating. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NBA players often feel undervalued by NBA 2K — the popular video-game franchise — and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is no exception.

The 2K franchise rates players out of 100, although only one player — Shaquille O’Neal — has ever received that designation. Tatum finished last season with a 91 rating, and speaking to a 2K representative in a video released on Wednesday, Tatum had a relatively reasonable expectation for his new score.

“I got to a 91,” Tatum said. “I think you’ve got to set the base at 92.”

Before the 2K rep revealed Tatum’s score, the Celtics star added that his goal is to get to a 95 before the end of the season.


Asking for a 92 isn’t crazy. But then Tatum got the bad news: His rating is 90 — four notches below Luka Doncic and six below Kevin Durant (who believes he should be a 99).

“Oh my God,” Tatum said, throwing his head back. “I don’t know how we keep going backwards. I scored 50 in the playoffs twice, four 50-point games, tied Larry Bird’s record, 27 a night.”

Tatum’s numbers last season were certainly impressive. He averaged 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, shouldering a greater burden within the Celtics’ offense. While he missed out on an All-NBA nod (and a big payday as a result), he did make his second All-Star team and cemented himself as one of the best players in the league.

“I guess we’re very demanding,” the 2K rep noted.

“I see,” Tatum said. “I’m up for a challenge.”


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