We’re not done with Jayson Tatum for the summer, it appears. According to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo!, Tatum will lace it up for Team USA as the national team attempts to rebound from a disappointing finish in the FIBA World Cup in 2019 with more of the top dogs playing this summer.
Jayson Tatum is one of those top dogs now.
Tatum is the third player to publicly be reported as committing to the team following today’s announcement that Damian Lillard and Draymond Green will also play in Tokyo for Team USA.
Tatum hasn’t had much time to have a break since the long layoff the whole world had when COVID-19 first broke out, leading to the suspension of the 2019-20 season. Since the resumption of the season in The Bubble™️ in Orlando, Tatum has barely had any time off. Coming off the season ending in the Eastern Conference Finals toward the end of September, Tatum had a quick turnaround to starting up training camps at the beginning of December.
Jayson Tatum cemented himself as a top 15 player behind a rough season that featured him catching and fighting through COVID-19. Not even COVID stopped Tatum from dominating, even if the Celtics as a team played under expectations, losing in the first round to the Brooklyn Nets in 5 after facing multiple injuries.
It’s no surprise that Tatum was recruited to be one of the top players to play in the Olympics. Tatum had four 50-point games over the course of a month and a half, leading the lead over that time frame. He set Celtics franchise records among a host of other accolades, and now we simply wait to see if he’ll be rewarded with an All-NBA nod after an amazing season.
There’s fan concern that he’s stretching himself too thin with such small layovers between basketball action, but to those concerns, I say that Jayson Tatum is a grown man who knows his body more than anyone else. If he feels good to play and isn’t injured, there are a lot of positives to be gained for him and his career by going to the Olympics in Tokyo. That’s also just an insanely cool thing to say – “I won a Gold Medal in Tokyo as one of the top players on Team USA.” The Hall of Fame case is making itself.
This season, Tatum averaged 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists as the undisputed No. 1 for this Celtics franchise. He’ll bring all that and hopefully some recruiting to the national team this summer at the end of July.
Evan Fournier is also playing at the Olympics this summer for his native France. LeBron James has turned down the opportunity to play for Team USA, and other stars like Bradley Beal have yet to make a formal decision as the Olympics ends close to when training camps for the 2021-22 season are set to begin.