Saturday, January 27, 2024

Jayson Tatum on his fifth All-Star selection: 'It means the world'

Jayson Tatum has been named an Eastern Conference starter for the 2024 All-Star Game, the NBA announced Thursday night.

This is the Celtics forward's fifth straight selection and fourth consecutive as a starter, something the 25-year is honored to have on his resume.
"It means the world. I never get used to it, I never want to take it for granted," Tatum said in his postgame comments Thursday. "As a kid it was my dream. I watched All-Star Weekend every year growing up and dreamed about one day being in that game. So to be voted in as a starter, fifth straight year in the game, it doesn't seem real at times. 
"Thanks to all the fans. There are so many guys they could vote for, and I continue to get voted as one of the top guys. It's pretty cool. I think it's important to celebrate those small wins throughout the season. Obviously, there's more things you want to accomplish, but being an All-Star never gets old and I'm very grateful for that."
Fresh off his 26-point, eight-rebound performance in the Celtics 143-110 blowout victory over the Miami Heat, Tatum has led Boston to a league-best 35-10 record with averages of 27.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest in 42 games played so far this season.

Tatum finished with the second most fans votes (4,802,187) among East frontcourt players, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was first and Joel Embiid came in third. For the backcourt, Tatum will be joined by Tyrese Haliburton and Damian Lillard to round out the starting five.

Tatum, who recently spoke to Marc Spears of Andscape on what it means to be an All-Star, was more than thankful to the fans who voted for him.
"I don't overlook it, man," Tatum told to Spears. "For millions of people to go and vote and have almost 4 million votes almost seems unreal to me. There are so many guys in the league. There are so many people you can vote for and for you to vote for me. I never take that for granted."
The seven-year veteran could also be joined by one or more of his Celtics teammates in Indianapolis, as the All-Star reserves are chosen by the coaches and are set to be announced on February 1.

Jaylen Brown got the fifth-most fan votes among Eastern Conference frontcourt players (1,320,277), while Kristaps Porzinigis was in seventh among fan votes (778,015). 

Meanwhile, Derrick White also received plenty of fan votes (707,845) to finish seventh-most among East guards and Jrue Holiday checked in with 571,515 fan votes -- which was good for eighth.

The 2024 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, February 18, and TNT will have the broadcast.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

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