Jayson Tatum Throws Shade at Miami Heat During Championship Celebration

For the third time in five years, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met in the NBA playoffs. But for the first time since 2008, the Beantown ball club brought home the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics went to Miami to celebrate their 2024 championship before returning home for the parade and celebration.

He was asked if Boston’s trip to South Beach was a little sweeter without the challenge of facing the Heat while in town.

“They’re always easy,” Tatum told Brian Scalabrine on June 22.

Tatum and the Celtics blew through the 2023-2024 NBA season, finishing the regular and postseason with a combined 80-21 record.

That includes a gentleman’s sweep, 4-1, over Miami. Tatum averaged 21.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the five-game series that didn’t feature Jimmy Butler.

The six-time All-Star suffered an MCL sprain in the Play-In Tournament and never made it back to the floor for the playoffs.

His absence certainly helped Boston’s chances, as did that of other players in their route to the franchise’s 18th championship.

Boston’s Faced Injured Teams in Playoff Run

After facing a Butler-less Heat team, the Celtics took on the Milwaukee Bucks in the second-round. But they too were down on their luck with injuries.

Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the entire series with a calf strain, suffered in an April 9, regular-season matchup against Boston.

Point guard Damian Lillard started the series strong, putting up 35 points in Milwaukee’s Game One victory. But he would go on to miss Games 4 and 5 with an Achilles injury before returning for an elimination loss in Game 6.

Boston went on to face the Indiana Pacers in the Conference Finals who, without All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, suffered a sweep at the hands of the eventual champs.

Of the three teams the Celtics beat in their road to the NBA Finals, a total of four All-Stars missed time in their respective series with injury. Boston will have quite the title defense on their hands if teams are healthy next season.

First things first, Brad Stevens and the front office will take on the offseason.

Celtics, Tatum Expected to Ink Extension

He may not be the Finals MVP, but Tatum will soon be the most paid player on the Celtics’ roster. Prior to Boston’s Game Five, championship-clinching win, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarwoski reported on the five-time All-Star’s looming extension.

On a June 17 episode of “NBA Countdown,” the insider reported Tatum’s eligibility for a five-year, $315 million extension.

“Once these NBA Finals are over, the teams are now allowed to start negotiating contract extensions and negotiating with their own free agents,” Wojnarowski said on June 17. “Which means that the Celtics will soon present Jayson Tatum with the largest contract extension in NBA history; a five-year, $315 million extension.”

Marc Stein reported that Tatum’s extension is considered “a layup in an empty gym,” following the Celtics’ championship win.

“Jayson Tatum’s forthcoming five-year, $315 million extension is regarded leaguewide as a layup in an empty gym in terms of inevitably,” Stein wrote in his June 19 newsletter.

Tatum is 25 years old, coming off of his seventh NBA season and his fifth-straight All-Star nod. He averaged 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1 steal in 74 regular season games.

Boston’s trek back to the NBA Finals starts with signing their best player to a new contract.

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