NBA Hoops

“I don’t like to sit out”: Jayson Tatum shines in front of road fans in Charlotte

“I don’t like to sit out”: Jayson Tatum shines in front of road fans in Charlotte

Jayson Tatum was granted his wish in Charlotte on Monday night. Avoiding load management with minimal games left in the season, he dazzled in front of a crowd of 19,000 ticket holders. While it was a road matchup for the Celtics, several fans were seen donning Kelly green. When the cameras were directed toward the bench, many of the young supporters were sporting Tatum’s #0.

Fans hopes came true as the Celtics tied the season series, defeating Charlotte 118-104 away from home. And if there’s one takeaway from all this, Tatum loves to play the Hornets on Monday evenings. Jayson Tatum has averaged 36.2 points, 8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in six total career games on Monday against Charlotte.

Given he spent one year at Duke University, it does make sense why he loves returning to the state of North Carolina.

Last July, Tatum specified why he’s not fond of load management at a Nike Elite Youth Basketball camp. For JT, he appreciates the support on the road, especially from the fans who travel miles to see him hoop.

After the Celtics 130-104 victory on St. Patrick’s Day, Tatum once again reiterated his displeasure about not being able to play away games.

“I don’t like to sit out,” Tatum told NBC Sports Boston in March. “I understand if I was injured or whatever. I just love to play the game. Especially on the road—so many fans out there with Tatum zero jerseys on, came to see me play. I kind of take pride in making sure I’m available as much as I can.”

While other stars in the NBA tend to rest towards the end of a long 82-game season, Tatum sets himself apart from the others. It’s the Mamba mentality. After all, he grew up idolizing the late Kobe Bryant. With the magic number dwindling to just two games, the C’s star doesn’t have plans to pump the breaks just yet.

Not even Joe Mazzulla can get much rest out of Tatum, who’s been experimenting with various lineups down the stretch. First in the Eastern Conference at 59-16, Tatum is focused on competing night in and night out. It doesn’t matter the opponent — he’s missed just five total games this season. The former Duke star has played a total of 509 games over his seven-year career with the C’s.

And this is what I admire about Tatum. An incredibly skilled and versatile player, I often get anxious about his shot selection. However, these are traits that make a player so special. It’s a mentality that the Celtics organization will never take for granted.

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