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June 9, 2022

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Practice Day

Q. Finally living the dream, the NBA Finals. How do you balance the desire to enjoy every moment of this dream that became reality with the big responsibility of leading a team to a title? How has it been for you so far?

JAYSON TATUM: It's been a great experience. Just try to remember it's still basketball at the end of the day. Try to prepare the same and not get too excited. Just go out there and be relaxed and play your game, but still enjoy this. There's no guarantee that you go to the Finals every year, and it's a big deal. Just try to enjoy it and be relaxed as possible.

Q. We talked about how Ime and how his even-keel approach has helped you along the whole season. For you, what does it mean to have a coach like that that never gets too high, never gets too low, and is able to have you guys prepare for the next game?

JAYSON TATUM: Never gets too high? I don't know if you all see. He cuss us out a lot, but I guess it's warranted during the games.

He always has, from when we were winning and when we were an 11 seed, he still had the same belief in us, in this group, that we could get it done. That's always something I've admired and appreciated about him.

Q. You talked about coming into Game 3 about how when you would get too deep into the paint and over-penetrate, that's when the turnovers would happen. Last night I think you had nine assists. Jaylen had five. You only had 12 turnovers as the team. What changed in the way you were seeing the court and the way you were able to attack them?

JAYSON TATUM: I think just watching film from last game and knowing what areas -- when we get into the paint, where would guys be at? You know, just being aware of when we don't turn the ball over that much, we're a really good team. Just trying to limit the unforced turnovers and things like that as much as possible.

Q. How much did those runs to the Conference Finals earlier in your career prepare you for the pressure of this, for the level of competition, or is the NBA Finals something different now that you're in it?

JAYSON TATUM: Both. I think it's definitely different. Obviously, a lot more at stake.

But I do think being in the Conference Finals three times at a young age has helped myself and a lot of us prepare for this moment. It's not like this is our first time getting to the Conference Finals and then we go to the Finals.

We've played late in the season a couple of times, but this is unlike anything else.

Q. I was just curious, I'm sure you saw Duke hired a general manager for their basketball program. Things have changed, of course, with NIL and all that, but I was wondering what you thought of it and how something like that may have helped you during your time and if it's something you see that being kind of the future in college basketball?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I did see that. Yeah, I feel like Duke is always ahead of the curve with things like that. That's why we have the best program in college basketball.

But it's a new game in college. It's a new playing field, and you've got to adjust. It's not how it was when I was in college or years before that. I think having the right people in place, just with all the NIL deals and things like that, so I'm excited for Duke and obviously Coach Scheyer and all those things, not going to miss a beat.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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