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Brad Stevens’ message to Celtics franchise player Jayson Tatum after NBA Finals struggles

Jayson Tatum, Brad Stevens, Celtics

After a disappointing NBA Finals performance from Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens gave the star some advice he should be glad to hear.

“I just told him, ‘Go on vacation. Go get some rest,” Stevens said.

This rest will be necessary following a regular season in which Tatum logged the fourth-most minutes and a lengthy playoff run that had him on the court more than any other player in the NBA. While Boston’s go-to-guy has age on his side, the grueling nature of a long season seemed to wear on Tatum near the end of the playoffs.

His points per game average went down with each series and he was even the first player in NBA history to have 100 turnovers in a single postseason.

In addition, he averaged 21.5 points per game while shooting 36.7% from the field during the NBA Finals, a significant downgrade from the regular season when he put 26.9 points per game on 45.3% shooting..

However, like most of the Celtics organization, Stevens deeply appreciates what Tatum accomplished this season despite his Finals woes.

“[He] gave us everything he had,” Stevens said. “He’s a superstar that doesn’t want to sit.”

“What Jayson and Jaylen [Brown] have done in the playoffs, historically, at their ages, is rarified air,” he later added.

Tatum may also want to go on vacation for a chance to mentally reset and get away from some of the flak he has faced in the media. For example, last night, Charles Barkley joked about Tatum’s turnovers during ESPN’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Final.

Wherever Tatum ends up this offseason, it will be his first extended break from basketball in a long time.

In 2019, Tatum spent his summer playing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup for Team USA. During the summer of 2020, he played in the NBA bubble, where Boston pushed the Miami Heat to a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The following year, he helped the United States grab the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Essentially, the regular NBA offseason has not provided him with much of a break from basketball. Yet, these upcoming months give Tatum an opportunity to finally get some real rest, and hopefully a chance to recharge for another run to the Finals.