Jayson Tatum has been living the high life as of late, first helping lead his Boston Celtics to their first NBA championship in 16 years, then becoming the highest paid player in NBA history with a new contract extension a few weeks later, and now looking to help Team USA secure a gold medal at the upcoming Olympics in Paris. While the Celtics put together one of the most dominant regular and postseason runs we've seen in quite some time in 2023-24, that didn't stop Tatum from finding himself on the wrong end of criticism from fans and media pundits alike throughout the year.

Recently, Tatum took to the Old Man and the Three Podcast to talk about the weight that has been lifted off of his shoulders now that he has helped his team win a ring.

“For me the most satisfying thing about winning is like in the social media age we live in, and turning on the TV, there’s so many things that they can debate,” said Tatum, via The Old Man and the Three on YouTube. “Is he the best player, is he top 5 or whatever. They can’t debate that I won a championship, that’s something that they can never take from me and I just sleep so much better at night. It did, it would keep me up, so much better, and it’s like I honestly don’t care what they say anymore, it’s like yo I did it, the thing that they said I couldn't do. I did it, and they can’t take that away.”

Is Jayson Tatum overhated?

 Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) signs his autograph before a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum has long been a frequent target of kids in Instagram comment sections and on X (previously known as Twitter) posts commenting on his perceived “corny” nature.

Admittedly, at least a small part of this criticism falls on the shoulders of Tatum himself. Posting text messages he sent to his deceased idol Kobe Bryant–after he had passed away–in particular rubbed some people the wrong way. There was also the fact that after the Celtics won the championship this year, Tatum appeared to copy and paste several iconic moments from other players and celebrities, including quoting Stephen Curry's “what are they going to say now?”, doing a riff on Kevin Garnett's “anything is possible!!!”, and then borrowing Kanye West's famous “I guess we'll never know” speech at the team after party.

However, for a player with Tatum's level of power, if being a bit corny at times is his biggest problem, then Celtics fans should be happy to have him as their franchise player. Perhaps the scariest prospect for the rest of the NBA at the current juncture is the fact that Tatum didn't even play very well for the majority of Boston's playoff run this year, and the team still bulldozed through the competition en route to the championship.

No team in the last five years has made it past the second round of the playoffs the year after winning the championship, but with their core group still all either just entering or in the heart of their prime, it seems the Celtics are in perfect position to end that streak.