Celtics’ Jayson Tatum reveals why he chose to wear number 0
Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is just like everybody else right now — bored out of his mind with the current lockdown situation. As a way to pass the time, the All-Star forward took an impromptu Q&A on Twitter, and one of the questions he responded to had to do with why he chose the number 0 for his jersey number.
The Celtics stud admitted that he had one particular NBA player in mind when he opted to switch numbers in college: none other than Agent Zero himself, Gilbert Arenas.
Was 22 in high-school… got to duke @RealJayWilliams wouldn’t let me wear 22 lol…. so I chose 0 cause Gilbert A was one of my favorite players and stuck with it
— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) March 26, 2020
Jay Williams, formerly one of the most promising prospects of his generation, had his No. 22 jersey retired by Duke for his tremendous career with the Blue Devils. Williams was involved in an infamous motorcycle accident just one year into the NBA, and this effectively ended his basketball career.
As it turns out, Tatum asked permission from Williams to use his old number, which apparently did not end well for Tatum.
The first-time Celtics All-Star did have a pretty good back up plan, though. It comes as no surprise that Tatum idolized Arenas, as he was after all one of the most likable players in the game during his time. Despite his off-court antics, he did still ball out every single night, with the three-time All-Star averaging 29.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.5 triples in arguably his best season in the league.
This was in 2005-06, and Tatum was just seven-years-old at that time. Obviously, watching Arenas light up the court night in and night out had a huge impact on Tatum and his future with the Celtics as he helps steer them to another playoff berth and possible title.