Celtics

Celtics

Jayson Tatum can officially add "NBA All-Star" to his resume.

The Boston Celtics forward was among those selected to the Eastern Conference reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday night.

Tatum joins teammate Kemba Walker as Boston's two All-Star representatives, as fellow wing Jaylen Brown failed to make the cut. The other Eastern Conference reserves for the contest are as follows: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, and Domantas Sabonis.

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And ahead of his first All-Star Game, Tatum said that he was "grateful" to participate in the contest. 

"Definitely it is an honor," Tatum said in a statement released by the Celtics. "I am extremely blessed and grateful. Third year to make the All-Star team it is a surreal feeling. I’m just very excited and it is a dream come true."

Tatum has made significant strides in his third NBA season, averaging 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game (all career highs).

The 21-year-old also has improved on the defensive end, as he ranks third in the NBA in defensive win shares (minimum 15 games played) behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

You could argue Brown was deserving, as well: The 23-year-old is averaging 20.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor.

Head coach Brad Stevens said Thursday he wouldn't get worked up about either player getting "snubbed," however.

"Whatever happens tonight, whether they make it, whether they don't, has no impact on how good they've been for us or the way that we think of them," Stevens told reporters prior to Boston's game with the Golden State Warriors.

 

All-Star captains Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will select their own teams in a live draft next Thursday, Feb. 6. The game itself is set for Sunday, Feb. 16, in Chicago.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Warriors-Celtics, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.