Brad Stevens may no longer be the head coach of the Boston Celtics, but he is still sticking up for his guys as if he were.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum was the subject of a lot of criticism last month when ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reported a quote from an anonymous assistant coach in the Eastern Conference criticizing Tatum’s desire to win.
“Jayson Tatum is about Jayson Tatum,” an Eastern Conference assistant coach said. “I don’t think he cares about winning now, and if he does, it is on his terms.
“He doesn’t want to score 15 and win. He wants to score 39 and win.”
Stevens, now the president of basketball operations for the Celtics, slammed the quote calling it “idiotic” when speaking on the Toucher and Rich show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“That quote was absolutely ridiculous, to be honest,” Stevens said. “I don’t ever react to that stuff, and I actually sent a note to one of the people I work with like ‘this is idiotic.’”
Tatum himself has even spoken publically about the reports on Wednesday.
Tatum has more than shown his worth as an NBA player, already being named to two All-Star teams in his first four full seasons in the league, and is averaging 19.7 points per game over his career.
However, it’s easy to see why he’s being criticized heavily this season. Tatum is holding career lows in both field goal percentage (39.7%) and three-point percentage (31.9%). Tatum has also taken a small step back as a play-maker, dropping from a career-high 4.3 assists per game last season to 3.6 this season.
It’s also much easier to criticize a player for not wanting to win when his team isn’t playing up to their previous standard. Boston is currently 8th in the Eastern Conference, holding a 12-10 record.