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February 15, 2019

Jayson Tatum

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. How would you describe the All-Star atmosphere and the All-Star feeling? What is it like to be here?
JAYSON TATUM: Being part of All-Star is a special feeling. Just seeing all the guys around the league, all the on-and-off-court festivities, it's the best place to be right now this time of the year. For my second straight year, happy to be here.

Q. What changed the most between the first and second year? You know a little bit more what to expect?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, the first year I was super excited, super nervous. I was still star struck, seeing all the other guys in the league, and now this year, I'm just a lot more relaxed and calm.

Q. On the impact of international players:
JAYSON TATUM: There's a lot of talented players in our league, especially a lot of international players. It just shows how big basketball is globally, and it's just our game keeps growing and growing. It's a really good thing. They're in the NBA for a reason. They're making their countries proud. They're an inspiration for all the younger guys where they're from.

Q. What do you think about Kyrie [Irving] being your coach for this game?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, basically, Kyrie's coaching tomorrow, so I'm going to tell him how much time I'm playing and when I come out, if I come out.

Q. When you trained with Kobe [Bryant] what do you remember the most?
JAYSON TATUM: I learned a lot training with Kobe. I'll continue to work out with him. I mean, he's one of the best players to ever play this game, so there's just so much that I can learn from him from a mental standpoint and just a detail-oriented standpoint.

Q. The mindset?
JAYSON TATUM: A little bit of both.

Q. Are there any guys that you want to trash talk?
JAYSON TATUM: On my team?

Q. Yeah.
JAYSON TATUM: No, I look at this weekend to have fun. You know, that's what it's all about, All-Star Weekend is all about. Being surrounded by other good players in the league and just having a good time.

Q. On being back in North Carolina:
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I've got a lot of love for North Carolina. Duke is an hour and 45 minutes away. I'm sure there will be a lot of Duke fans throughout the night and the weekend.

Q. If you were the captain of LeBron or Giannis' team, who would you pick first?
JAYSON TATUM: Who would I pick first?

Q. Yeah.
JAYSON TATUM: Kyrie Irving.

Q. Why?
JAYSON TATUM: He's my teammate. He's the best player in the All-Star Game this year.

Q. I want to ask you, it's all about competition in this game tonight. Is there one player in particular that you're looking at going at?
JAYSON TATUM: One player? No, not one player. I've played against all those guys. So I mean, whoever guards me.

Q. Is there anybody you maybe want to posterize in this game or maybe cross over and then posterize? It's okay to name names. Nobody's listening.
JAYSON TATUM: I mean, whoever jumps. They'll take their chances.

Q. What are some of the ways that the year at Duke prepared you?
JAYSON TATUM: Being at Duke really helped my transition coming to the Celtics. I was at the best program in college basketball, to come to the best franchise in the NBA, and just the media attention and the expectations that I had at Duke and that I now experience with the Celtics, it really helped me make the transition a lot easier.

Q. How do you feel about the possibility of changing the one-and-done rule in the NBA?
JAYSON TATUM: Like changing the one-and-done rule?

Q. Yeah.
JAYSON TATUM: I think it's a good idea. If you're good enough to come out of high school, I feel like you should be able to. But I don't make those decisions. We'll see.

Q. Having gone to Duke, what are the emotions like for you being back in North Carolina in the Tar Heel State for this event?
JAYSON TATUM: The Tar Heel State? I love North Carolina. I'm excited to be back. Hopefully, there's a lot of Duke fans here tonight and throughout the weekend. I love seeing their support.

Q. Have you gotten to know Kyle Kuzma at all? What do you think of his game?
JAYSON TATUM: I've known Kyle for a little while now. He's a really special player. 6-8, 6-9. The guys that can do a little bit of everything in this league are pretty successful, and he's one of them.

Q. What's your favorite sneaker and your favorite video game?
JAYSON TATUM: Favorite sneaker would be the Nike Adapts, and favorite video game would be NBA 2K.

Q. Your favorite emoji and why?
JAYSON TATUM: The favorite emoji would be the heart emoji because I love people.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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