During Boston’s deep playoff run last season, Celtics star Jayson Tatum revealed that the injury he played through may have been more serious than many thought.
In a one-on-one interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Tatum explained his injury in greater depth.
“I had a non-displaced fracture in my wrist,” he said. “I chipped a bone but it didn’t leave the surface. The bone grew over it so it had healed, but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it.”
While rumblings of Tatum’s wrist issues were known in the playoffs, the full extent of it was not publicized outside of the Celtics organization.
According to the three-time All-Star, no one “besides the team” knew that he was competing with “somewhat of a fracture.”
With this new information in mind, Jayson Tatum’s struggles late in the playoffs are understandable. He shot the ball poorly for much of the NBA Finals, even recording the lowest plus-minus (-36) in a Finals game ever during Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors.
In his interview, he also specifically cited a moment when he believed his injury worsened.
“There was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3 when I dunked it and Giannis [Antetokounmpo] chased me down and fouled me,” he recalled. “And I fell into the crowd, and that was the most painful it’s been since that day.”
Following that seven-game series against the Bucks, the Celtics would play another seven versus the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. So, it’s no surprise Jayson Tatum was subpar in the Finals given his wrist and fatigue.
However, he doesn’t want any excuses to be made on his behalf.
“In my mind, if I’m going out there to play, nothing else matters,” he said.
And recently at the CrawsOver pro-am, it didn’t appear as if Tatum’s wrist was bothering him at all. While the event was cut short, he put on a show for fans and threw a lob to LeBron James for a monstrous dunk.
Hopefully in the 2022-23 NBA season, Jayson Tatum will continue to look unbothered by any injuries and restart the Celtics’ journey back to the Finals.