It's no secret that Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum wasn't always the biggest fan of Beantown. And while his reasoning usually centered around basketball and his love of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his initial dislike had to do with another sport as well.
“Honestly, I didn't understand how special of a place Boston was until I got here,” Jayson Tatum admitted. “I didn't like Boston. I felt like them beating the [St. Louis] Rams was the reason the Rams ended up leaving.”
To fully understand Tatum's logic, you have to go back to 2002 when the underdog New England Patriots took on the St. Louis Rams, then called “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the Pats upset the Rams 20-17 and won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. This shocking win began a New England dynasty, whereas the Rams would only make the playoffs two more times in the next 14 seasons before leaving Missouri in 2015.
Tatum was still a toddler during Super Bowl 36, however, he was born in St. Louis and likely grew to hate the Patriots for the loss of one of his city's major teams.
While the 25-year-old remains loyal to “The Lou,” he has embraced Boston during his time with the Celtics.
“This is a special place,” he said. “They love their sports teams, they love their guys. I feel like they've been embraced, I feel like they've accepted me as one of their guys.”
In 2023, the Rams are in Los Angeles, the Patriots are at the bottom of the AFC, and Jayson Tatum's Celtics are atop the Eastern Conference standings. If the four-time All-Star wants to truly cement himself as a Boston legend, winning the Celtics their first championship in over 15 years could do the trick.