In a dramatic twist of fate, Boston Celtics‘ star Jayson Tatum’s offhand comment about the Charlotte Hornets came back to haunt him. Tatum and the Celtics lost to the Hornets in a recent nail-biting NBA game. Tatum, known for his on-court prowess and competitive spirit, faced an unexpected turn of events during the Celtics’ clash with the Hornets.
The game at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center was more than a regular NBA fixture. It marked the first Celtics-Hornets clash since Tatum’s controversial comment. He had downplayed the importance of playing the Hornets, hinting that Monday night games were less significant and not widely viewed.
Jayson Tatum had this to say about him and all of the best players in the league playing hard every day, even if it was ‘just the Charlotte Hornets‘ they were facing:
Just because we're playing Charlotte on NBA League Pass on a Monday and ain't nobody watching, I'm chilling tonight— That's not what the best players do… Compete, play basketball, don't take it for granted.
Jayson Tatum about the Hornets game.
However, the game unfolded in a way that Tatum and the Boston Celtics hadn’t anticipated. They led by 18 points in the first half and entered the final two minutes of regulation with a nine-point advantage. However, the Celtics succumbed to a stunning 121-118 overtime defeat. The Hornets were led by Lamelo Ball’s 36-point masterclass on a 55% FG. He was everywhere, recording nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block.
Despite scoring a season-high 45 points along with 13 rebounds and six assists, Tatum faced criticism for his late-game performance. His missed free throw in the game’s dying seconds, which could have tied the score, was seen as a pivotal moment, leading many to label it as a ‘choke’ under pressure.
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Late errors overshadowed Jayson Tatum’s remarkable performance
Tatum’s outstanding game was overshadowed by the Hornets’ incredible comeback and his crucial errors in pivotal moments. NBA fans and analysts noted the irony, highlighting poetic justice in Tatum’s earlier words backfiring.
Post-game, Hornets’ forward P.J. Washington seized the moment. He subtly referenced Tatum’s comments, underscoring the intensity and unpredictability of NBA games. Washington slightly trolled Tatum and the Celtics regarding NBA League Pass.
This incident highlights the NBA’s competitive spirit, where underestimating rivals can yield surprising results. Tatum’s comments added an extra layer of intrigue to this matchup, making it memorable for the 2023 NBA season.
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