On Saturday night, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum headed back to where it all started for him: the Barclays Center.
Tatum took over the New York arena during a 124-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets, as he dropped 32 points and 11 rebounds in 41 minutes. The 25-year-old sweetened the victory by notching his 10,000th career point, making him the 10th youngest player to reach that impressive mark in league history.
Six years ago in the same place, Tatum began his NBA journey. The Barclays Center hosted the 2017 NBA Draft, which saw the Duke standout selected third overall.
Looking back at it, the Celtics hit it big on their early first-round pick; however, the excitement wasn’t completely mutual. Following his great showing against the Nets, Tatum told the media that he wasn’t thrilled about going to Boston initially.
“Man, I was ignorant when I got drafted … I didn’t even want to come [to Boston] because I didn’t think I was going to play,” he revealed. “The [Celtics] had Gordon [Hayward], [Jaylen Brown], Isaiah Thomas, [and Marcus] Smart, I didn’t think I was good enough to be on that team.”
Thankfully for the Celtics, Tatum made an instant impact in his rookie season and quickly developed into an All-Star. While plenty of his former teammates are gone, he’s remained a cornerstone for the C’s as they continue to chase Banner No. 18.
While bringing an NBA championship back to Boston for the first time in over 15 years will be extremely difficult, the Celtics are off to a hot start this season. After defeating the Nets on the road, the Celtics are a perfect 5-0. In addition, they’re the only remaining unbeaten team in the league.
Jayson Tatum and company will look to keep that record unblemished during their next matchup on Monday night versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.