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Celtics’ Jayson Tatum learning about sacrifice in Team USA

Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is absorbing a lot of lessons so far in his stint with Team USA. Apart from gaining more knowledge about the tactical part of the game, Tatum is learning the real definition of sacrifice.

Unlike with the Boston Celtics, where the 21-year-old Tatum is developing into the team’s main guy, it is different with Team USA: He has to slip into a different role. After all, Team USA members are expected to leave their egos outside before they set foot on the basketball court.

“Just playing with USA, you got to play in a different way,” he said, per John Karalis of MassLive. “You have to sacrifice, because you are playing with 11 great other players. So, we all got to sacrifice something for the bigger goal at hand.”

One of the criticisms hurled at Tatum last year was his penchant for pulling up for inefficient mid-range shots. This will likely not be allowed in Gregg Popovich’s system. Tatum seems to be completely aware of this. While his stint with the national team will contribute to his personal development, he knows he is not just dribbling and shooting for himself.

“It is very big, even practices,” Tatum said after a team workout in Melbourne, Australia. “They are just as important to our development. We are competing against the best players in the league every day, and we are getting after it. Practice has been great, and we are just going to continue to get better.”

Tatum, without a doubt, has a great opportunity to take his game to another level. This entails a lot of sacrifice for his teammates and the country.