June 7, 2022
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jayson.
Q. When you have had turnover problems in the playoffs, are there certain things that happen that you go back to and think you need to do this differently or a variety of things that cause that?
JAYSON TATUM: I think rim reads, right, getting too deep in the paint, not seeing the kick-outs, trying to kind of force the drop-offs, things like that. Usually there's always somebody open.
So just reiterating that in the film session and just being better at that tomorrow.
Q. Ime shared with us this crazy stat about turnovers and what your record is when you commit 15 or fewer, what it is in the playoffs when it's more than that. As players, do you feel turnovers are what is beating you? How do you balance going out there trying not to turn the ball over with playing as hard as you want to play?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I mean, turnovers are a big part of the game, especially when you see how many times we turned it over and how many points they scored off that.
You just think if you could limit those turnovers, you could limit a lot of those points. Yeah, I mean, basically we don't turn the ball over, we give ourselves a better chance to win. That's not rocket science.
It's just a matter of doing that more often than not.
Q. I'm guessing this is kind of related to your first answer, but how do you create more quality looks around the basket? You struggled to score on two-pointers the last game. How do you do that moving forward?
JAYSON TATUM: They're a really good defensive team. Maybe turning down a good shot to get a great shot. May not be the first dribble-drive that you get, maybe the second one or the third one. Just having the patience, knowing whatever's going on at the time to just try to get the best shot possible each possession.
Q. You're not a talkative dude on the floor. There's been a lot of talking. Can you be a talkative dude on the floor when guys are getting in your head and be physical with you? Do you say, don't do that again? What is your guidelines for behavior on the floor when it's obvious Draymond was trying to shake you guys?
JAYSON TATUM: What is it? I don't know. I just go out there and play basketball, right? I get I'm on the quieter side.
But, you know, I do talk to people that I know, right? If I know you, we got like a relationship, a history on the floor, I'll talk to you.
I'm all about being competitive and all those things. If you say something to me, I'm going to respond. I'm not an instigator or things like that. I just go out there and play.
At the end of the day it's basketball. You got to understand what certain people are trying to do, take you off your game. But, you know, I love that part of it, whether I show it or not. I enjoy the competitive part, the nuances and things like that, that everybody may or may not see that go on between the lines. That's the fun part about it.
Q. How is your evolution in the NBA, evolution of bouncing back from a loss or bad game, how has that evolved over your NBA career?
JAYSON TATUM: I don't know. I mean, you have a bad day at work, the next day you want to have a better day at work. I think everybody can understand that. You lose a game or don't play well, you want to come back and have a better game.
I'm sure everybody can relate to that, whatever you work at. It's all the same.
Q. Switching gears a little bit. Obviously there are a lot of fathers in this league and we see their kids around them while they're at work. Clearly we see Deuce around you a lot. Besides loving your son and being a father, is it more intentional in the fact that maybe when Deuce gets older you want him to see how involved you were while you're doing your job, or do you want to set an example for fatherhood?
JAYSON TATUM: That's a great question.
I think 2017 when I got drafted, I didn't have Deuce, but he was born in 2017, so that was a big -- that was, like, the biggest year of my life, right? Starting this new chapter in my career, I just had a child.
My mindset was not to sacrifice either, that I was going to be the best father as I could as well as the best basketball player. There was no guideline or there was no, you know, exact way to do it. It was all about what was natural.
I think that's what it is. I just do what's natural. I'm around him every day. I think being able to go through this journey together, because I was 19 when I got drafted, it's kind of like we're growing up together. As he's gotten older, I'm going through my career, sharing these moments, experiencing this together as we grow up.
I think it's the coolest part for me. I don't know if it's intentional as much as it's just natural and what we do. I realize that I do have a platform and things like that. If I am a role model for young fathers around the world, that's great. I think we need more role models like that. Just to have more male fathers be present and things like that, show that you can do both, regardless of whenever you work, whatever your profession is.
Q. You're very intentional about a lot of the things you want to do, including that, what you want to accomplish in the game. What has the Finals experience and this whole run been like as a superstar player compared to what you expected?
JAYSON TATUM: It's been a lot. This is a dream come true, playing in the Finals. As a competitor, you know, this is what you work for, right? You want to be the last team standing. You want to hold up that trophy.
I think to have the golden opportunity right at your fingertips, just taking full advantage of it. You don't want to have any regrets when it's all said and done. Win or lose, you want to feel that you gave it your all. That's all you can ask of anybody.
A lot of people want to debate -- I guess you just commented about the superstar, whatever that means, right? I've seen there's a huge debate: is he a superstar or is he not? I want to know where that came from. Did I tweet that? Did I ever say I'm a superstar, I'm on the verge? That never came from me.
It's been a big deal this last year and a half or two years. I see it all the time. There's always been a question in the back of my head, I wonder who spoke on my behalf or said that or why that was such a big deal.
If you win a championship, they can debate a lot of things. They can't debate whether or not you're a champion. Obviously lost the other night. Just looking forward to bouncing back tomorrow. First Finals game at home, at the Garden. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it, enjoying this experience.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports