Tatum has playful response to question about adding muscle


Jayson Tatum probably knew the question was coming.

The Boston Celtics forward seemingly packed on some muscle this offseason, as evidenced by a recent weight room session he shared on Instagram. Those photos of a beefed-up Tatum led many -- including our Chris Forsberg -- to wonder if we'll see the 23-year-old attack the rim and score more points in the paint this season.

Forsberg: Bulked-up Tatum should be dominant at the rim in 2021-22

Forsberg asked Tatum on Saturday if adding muscle this offseason was part of a conscious effort to improve that part of his game.

"Yeah, that definitely helps," Tatum responded while hosting a youth basketball camp in Foxboro, Mass. "I know people want to see me go to the basket more. I like some step-back jumpers. It’s compromise. I’ll do what the people want."

Tatum may not only be referencing the media and fans with that comment, either. While working out with Tatum at a Team USA practice this summer, new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka at one point chided his young All-Star for settling for a jumper off a post-up.

Of course, Tatum has proven he can score on both drives to the basket and outside shots. He averaged a career-high 26.4 points per game last season on 45.9% shooting and finished a career-best 68% of his attempts at the rim.

But shots at the rim accounted for just 28% of his attempts last season (down from 39% during his rookie season), and if he can use his extra strength to get easier looks at the basket, he could become an even more lethal scorer.


For now, though, Tatum is content with flexing his muscle on young campers, as he demonstrated by swatting this poor kid to oblivion Saturday.