Jayson Tatum missed out on making one of the league’s three All-NBA teams, despite have the best season of his young career. Unsurprisingly, he feels like he was snubbed.
The Boston Celtics forward posted career highs in points per game (26.4), assists per game (4.3) and rebounds per game (7.4), but ultimately was left out of the elite group by media voters. He clearly took a leap forward as an individual, but didn’t meet the parameters in the eyes of many to be dubbed a top-15 player in the NBA this season.
Tatum missed out on a massive financial incentive, $33 million, by not making one of the three teams. Although the payday would’ve been a nice bonus, it’s the lack of recognition that disappoints the Celtics star.
“I know I should’ve made it,” Tatum said via the “Beyond The Press” podcast, as transcribed by WEEI. “Just, I guess, with the season I had. I mean, $33 million is a lot. Obviously that would make anybody feel some type of way. I wasn’t necessarily upset about losing the money. I just felt like the way I was playing, everything I did, I thought it should’ve been a no-brainer. I think I was more frustrated with that.”
Tatum continued by expressing his confusion at the voting process. Although media members are meant to cast subjective ballots, the 23-year-old think there should be a more defined set of guidelines to follow.
“I think what they do need to change is, it’s kind of opinion-based,” the Celtics star said. “A bunch of media members get to vote. What’s the criteria? Is there a certain amount of games you need to play? Should you be in playoff contention? Is there a certain amount of points you should average depending on your position? I think there should be something like that in place, because I think if you just allow people to just vote and there’s nothing set in place like, ‘You gotta play this many games,’ or whatever it may be, I think that would help it out a lot. But I know nobody’s necessarily gonna feel bad for me and Donovan (Mitchell) because we still get paid a lot of money. But I think it’s more that I just felt like I deserved to make it, not necessarily money.”
The Celtics struggled to gather momentum throughout the season and finished a disappointing 36-36, good enough for seventh in the Eastern Conference. With the league currently full of talent, the team’s performance may have contributed to their star’s omission from this year’s All-NBA teams.
Tatum will get a chance to prove those who didn’t vote for him wrong before the start of the next NBA season. The 23-year-old forward is one of the 12 members that will represent the United States this summer at the Tokyo Olympics.