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Celtics’ Jayson Tatum reacts to using ‘The Problem’ nickname

Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum does not mind using the nickname “The Problem,” which was inadvertently given to him by Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

Fans or in-game announcers are usually the ones who christen players with monickers, but it was “The King” who described Tatum as “a problem” for the rest of the league following an impressive display in their matchup last February 23.

The Celtics did absorb a 112-114 defeat at the hands of the Lakers, but the 6-foot-8 swingman sizzled with a career-best 41 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from three.

On Tuesday, Tatum spoke to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols via call and gave his stamp of approval on the nickname.

“I mean, I’ll take that nickname. I remember, he (LeBron) posted, it was like right after we played him. We were in L.A. and I remember was back in my hotel room and I was taking a nap because it was an early game,” the Celtics star said..

“And I remember my best friend from back home, he called me and he was like, ‘Bro, go on your Instagram! LeBron just shouted you out.’ “And I remember I saw it and I’m a competitor, but I realize at the end of the day, that’s one of the greatest players ever and somebody I looked up to growing up, so I still understand that’s a big deal.”

Jayson Tatum certainly deserves a good nickname after making the leap to stardom in his third year. The Duke product was averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals in 59 games prior to the suspension of the season. He was named an All-Star for the first time and helped the Celtics notch a 43-21 slate (third in the East).

Tatum recently also addressed being the subject of the “He’s only 19” meme, which has been quite popular among NBA fans. It remains to be seen if his new nickname sticks, but “The Problem” does have a nice ring to it.