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February 16, 2019

Jayson Tatum

Charlotte, North Carolina - Taco Bell Skills Challenge

Q. Jayson, just take us through that last sequence with Trae. Clearly, it seemed like he was about to get it.
JAYSON TATUM: The previous two rounds, the guy was ahead of me. Figured I'd let him get a shot attempt so I could get closer to the three-point line. I didn't want to give Trae a chance. I honestly didn't know I was going to hit the shot, but I had to give myself a chance, throw it up there, and it worked out for the best.

Q. This morning you told us that you were going to win this, and you seemed fairly confident. Did it play out the way you thought it would, or it just worked out that way?
JAYSON TATUM: I definitely tried to win. I went out there. I didn't want to go out there and be too cool. I wanted to leave All-Star with something, just give myself a chance to win. I just had a lot of fun.

Q. Jayson, your nickname is "Taco Jay". Did you feel like you had a reputation to live up to?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I'm going to tell Taco Bell I need a deal.

Q. Jayson, what song did you warm up to preparing for the contest?
JAYSON TATUM: Like practicing?

Q. Yeah, when you were like practicing or warming up, what song did you listen to?
JAYSON TATUM: The only time I practiced was we got here at like 6:00, and they had us go out there for 20, 30 minutes. They didn't have any music playing, so nothing.

Q. Were you just trying to up the drama and suspense for everybody a little bit by falling behind each round?
JAYSON TATUM: No, that was not the plan. I couldn't get the pass down on the first try, but I was trying. I wanted to win.

Q. Jayson, what did Nikola say to you after you beat him in the semifinal?
JAYSON TATUM: He's a character. He's a funny guy. We were just having a lot of fun, joking out there.

Q. Was that a heave from half court or did you have a chance to really kind of measure up that shot at all?
JAYSON TATUM: No, I just seen he was getting close, about to shoot it. So I thought I'd better at least -- if I'm going to lose, I'd better at least get a shot attempt up. Let me throw this up real quick. I thought I'd at least knock his ball out of the way so I can get a chance to shoot it.

Q. Jayson, you said you're going to give the trophy to your mom. Why do you want to do that?
JAYSON TATUM: My mom likes to steal all my trophies and past jerseys. She has all my Duke jerseys and state championships. So I'll let her get this one, too.

Q. I may have missed the question, but Taco Jay is your nickname, Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Does it make it more rewarding to win this competition?
JAYSON TATUM: It definitely does. I'm going to call Taco Bell tomorrow and tell them I need a deal. I need to be on the commercial. I love tacos.

Q. Jayson, 30 points last night in the Rising Stars and then this. Can you sum up your weekend, I don't know if you'll stick around tomorrow, but just how enjoyable it's been for you.
JAYSON TATUM: It's been a great weekend, a lot better than last year. I played well yesterday. We won, so that was good. We lost last year. And I got an opportunity to participate in Saturday night this year, which I didn't last year. I get to leave with some hardware. So it was a successful weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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