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Jayson Tatum becomes the youngest Celtic to reach 10,000 points

Tatum reached the milestone in a 124-114 win against the Nets

NBA: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

As early as high school, Jayson Tatum was breaking scoring records. At Chaminade College Prep (where Tatum’s jersey is retired), Tatum broke the school’s scoring record with 2,676 career points. Now in his seventh year in the league, Tatum has become the youngest Boston Celtic to eclipse 10,000 points and the 10th youngest in NBA history.

Tatum only needed 16 points entering Saturday’s contest with the Brooklyn Nets to reach 10,000 points. Midway through the second quarter, Tatum attacked the rim and scored while being fouled by a defender to give him 15 points. Tatum’s ensuing free throw gave him 16 in the game and 10,000 for his career.

Tatum said it was “hard to process” being the youngest Celtic to reach 10,000 points.

“In the moment it’s a huge accomplishment and extremely blessed to be a part of such a great franchise,” Tatum said. “I’ve been fortunate to be on some really good teams, have some really good coaches, and have some great teammates that helped contribute to 10,000 points.”

Head coach Joe Mazzulla praised his All-Star for the milestone. “I’m proud of him. I know he’s not going to stop,” he said.

Mazzulla added, “he dedicates his life to it. He doesn’t miss days, he doesn’t miss practices, he doesn’t miss games.”

Not only did Tatum become the youngest Celtic to reach the feat, but he is the only player in NBA history to log 10,000 points, 3,000 rebounds, and make 1,000 threes at age 25.

The forward is off to the hottest start of his career averaging 30.2 points on 55% shooting (45.2% from deep) and grabbing 9.6 boards per game. Each season, he has increased his scoring numbers and is on pace to do so again this year.

When Tatum was drafted third overall from Duke University, he was regarded as one of the purer scorers in the draft. A silky jump shot with a good midrange had Celtics fans believing big things for the eventual All-NBA player. Being drafted by the Celtics who had Isaiah Thomas (before being traded for Kyrie Irving) and signed Gordon Hayward, Tatum was going to have to wait for his opportunity to lead the team. However, that opportunity came quicker than anyone may have wanted with Hayward breaking his ankle in the season opener.

Tatum said postgame that he “didn’t want to come [to Boston]” because he didn’t think he would play.

“First of all, I didn’t even want to come (to Boston) because I didn’t think I was going to play. They had Gordon, JB, IT, Smart, I didn’t think I was good enough to be on that team,” Tatum said.

Since then, Tatum went from a boy to a rookie with a good jump shot to a man who can score anywhere on the court. In the majority of games he plays in, he is the best player on the court and every year he shows it.

Jrue Holiday who used to guard Tatum said he is glad he’s now teammates with the forward.

“I’m glad he’s on our side. I’m glad he’s on my team. A scorer like him makes it look so easy,” Holiday said.

Ten thousand points is just a start for Tatum and his career in Boston. He’ll be eligible for a supermax extension this summer and it sounds like he’ll be in green for a long time.

“Over the last year and a half [to] two years, I’ve really felt that connection to the city of Boston. When I said that, I meant the people — the people I know, the people I don’t know, the people I see at the gas station,” Tatum said. “Going to the Children’s Hospital, surprising the kids at the high school, seeing those genuine reactions, the excitement on their faces when I walk in, that brought me joy and I was happy to be there. I understand the value in that, going in there to speak to them, that’s something they might remember forever.”

Tatum has made the Eastern Conference Finals four times with one trip to the Finals. Despite all the achievements and milestones he has achieved in his career, Tatum doesn’t turn 26 until March. Hopefully, this year brings another milestone for Tatum: a championship and Banner 18.

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