Jayson Tatum received a ton of criticism throughout the NBA Finals. He just didn't look like the superstar that he is as the Golden State Warriors defeated his Boston Celtics in six games to claim the title.
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has now spoken out about what he told Tatum heading into the offseason. For the 44-year-old shot-caller, it was important to look back at the tremendous success Tatum achieved throughout the campaign:
“He had a great year — first-team All-NBA, all the accolades that he accomplished, and obviously he had a huge part in getting us to where we were,” Udoka said (h/t Joel Pavon of Causeway Street). “My main message to him was, take a step back and rest your body first and foremost.”
A lot of people were disappointed with Tatum and his performance during the NBA Finals. However, there is likely no other person in the world who is more frustrated with all this than Tatum himself. Coach Udoka believes that at this point, it is important for the Celtics superstar to look at the bigger picture.
“Physically get right, mentally take a step back, reflect, and kind of decompress,” he said. “Get your mind right as well. Just that time away. Don't want to bother guys as much right now, but we want to relay the message that there's still more to build on and grow on in certain areas.”
Udoka also said that Tatum is a “gym rat” and that he's confident that the Celtics star won't take too much time off. Udoka wants Tatum to “get his body right and start building up” as Boston looks to do it all over again in 2022-23:
“So from there, we want him to take a step back, rest, and take a look at the big picture and what he accomplished and build on that,” Udoka said.