Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum took the court for pregame warmups Friday night with a T-shirt bearing a simple message.
It was a follow up, of course, to Tatum’s comment after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. When ESPN reporter Cassidy Hubbarth asked Tatum how he had the confidence to score 16 points in the fourth quarter after struggling up to that point, Tatum responded, “I’m one of the, humbly, one of the best basketball players in the world.”
In case you missed that interview:
"I'm … humbly, one of the best basketball players in the world."
Jayson Tatum after Game 6 win vs. Sixers pic.twitter.com/ANd13uB0MD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 12, 2023
Tatum drew plenty of reaction on social media, both positive and negative, for that interesting comment. But he now appears to have embraced the “Humbly” term, as he showed with his pregame attire before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
After his interview with @CassidyHubbarth after Game 6 in Philadelphia, Jayson Tatum is sporting a shirt with “HUMBLY” splashed across the chest as he warms up for Game 2 tonight: pic.twitter.com/SDpxNse2Lh
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 19, 2023
The word “humble” is something not often heard in relation to superstar athletes. Some would argue that being an elite athlete requires a high degree of self-confidence that doesn’t mix well with humbleness.
Tatum doesn’t need to toot his own horn, as plenty of fans are willing to acknowledge he is, in fact, one of the best basketball players in the world. The forward scored 30 points in the Game 1 loss to the Heat. He averaged 29 points per game in the seven-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers.