Banner 18 just became a reality. On Monday, the Boston Celtics blew out the Dallas Mavericks to cement themselves as NBA champions after 16 years. It was the first title for most of the squad, Jayson Tatum included. This is exactly why the forward was as ecstatic as one could get after winning a chip. During one of the postgame interviews, Tatum let out his emotions with a statement for all the naysayers.

“What they gonna say now?! What they gonna say now?!” Tatum said, amid all the celebrations.

Jayson Tatum leads the way in Game 5

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) is greeted by Ray Allen as he walks off the court with the trophy as he celebrates winning the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden
© Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

After being criticized by fans for his numbers in the finals' first two games, Tatum showed the world why he's a superstar. During Game 3, the 26-year-old finished with 31 points in front of a jeering American Airlines Center. The Celtics may have fallen in Game 4, but the stars finally aligned for the green and white on Monday, and Jayson Tatum's performance led the way.

In Game 5, he tallied 31 points (again), 11 rebounds and eight assists for a near triple-double. Tatum was aggressive the entire game, attacking the basket relentlessly for layups while setting up his teammates when the defense collapsed inside.

And luckily for him, everyone else was on fire. The Celtics made 10 threes in the first half. Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Sam Hauser were all drilling their attempts from deep. By halftime, the lead ballooned to 21 points.

The Celtics would never look back. They continued their free-flowing offense and aggressive defense throughout the next two quarters. In the fourth period, Tatum scored 11 points, making sure that Boston would be a city of champions once again.

The Celtics were just unstoppable as a team

Looking at the numbers, it was a team effort. Brown finished the game with 21 points and eight rebounds, winning the NBA Finals MVP due to his consistent play throughout the series. Jrue Holiday had a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards, putting on yet another quality two-way show. White shot four three-pointers for 14 points and added eight rebounds as well.

It was noticeable how the Celtics just wanted it more on Monday. They outrebounded Dallas, 51-35. White and Holiday, in particular, showed why they're one of the scrappiest backcourts in the league. Despite both standing at 6-foot-4, they were able to haul down four offensive rebounds (each) against the Mavericks. In fact, White even suffered a chipped tooth during a loose-ball dive.

All year long, the pressure was on Boston to win it all. They had the best record in the league, and anything less than a title was considered a failure. On June 17 — the day when the 2008 banner was won — Jayson Tatum and the Celtics lived up to the expectations, taking home the crown once and for all.