Jayson Tatum hears all the noise surrounding his supposed lack of leadership skills. He knows that people wish he was more vocal on the floor and displayed more aggressive qualities from time to time. But that’s not who he is, and in a recent Up Close interview with ESPN’s Sage Steele, Tatum explained why he finds such criticism “baffling.”
“It’s always been baffling to me that they’re not in it, but they get to critique what you’re doing and they don’t know anything about it. It’s like, yeah, I’m not the most vocal but I talk to my teammates all the time. And the guys that I played with, the guys in the organization, they know. You gotta be yourself and, me, as much as I love him, my personality is not like Kevin Garnett. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve got to be true to myself and do things in my own way for it to be genuine,” Tatum told Steele when asked about his thoughts on the recent criticism levied his way.
Tatum, 23, continues to face calls for him to adopt a tougher leadership approach, with fans and media pointing toward Marcus Smart and Kevin Garnett as examples of what they believe leadership should look like. But not everybody is the same, and there is more than one way to be a franchise player.
“I think being more vocal, being more of a leader. It’s not just all about, you know, on-the-court stuff.”
Tatum also discussed the changes which the Boston Celtics have undergone in recent months, from Brad Stevens taking a front office role to Ime Udoka now roaming the sidelines.
“I had no idea the coaching change was going to be what it was, especially the day after the season ended for us. It’s still a little weird seeing Brad around and he’s not the coach anymore.”