Celtics

How Tatum wants All-NBA voting process to change after snub

Celtics

This may shock you, but Jayson Tatum isn't thrilled about not making the 2021 All-NBA Team.

The Boston Celtics star just missed the cut for Third Team All-NBA earlier this month despite posting better numbers across the board than his 2019-20 season in which he made All-NBA. As a result, Tatum missed out on a $32.6 million boost to his upcoming contract extension.

The 23-year-old was very much aware of the financial ramifications.

"I know I should have made it, just I guess with the season I had," Tatum told Ashley Nevel on Kicks' "Beyond the Press" podcast. "I mean, $33 million on the line. Obviously, that would make anyone feel some type of way."

Tatum insisted it wasn't all about his bottom line, though.

"I wasn’t necessarily upset about losing the money," he said. "I think I just felt like the way I was playing, everything I did, I thought it should have been a no-brainer. I think I was just more frustrated with that."

Tatum averaged 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game -- all career highs -- and shot 45.9% from the floor. But those stats couldn't help the Celtics finish better than .500, and it appears Tatum may have been docked for his team's poor performance. The six forwards who made All-NBA -- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Julius Randle, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler and Paul George -- all played for teams with better records.

 

Tatum also missed five games in January while in COVID protocol, which may have hurt his case as well. But the Celtics forward doesn't know the exact reason why he didn't get the nod, and that's his biggest gripe with his All-NBA snub.

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"I think what they do need to change is – it’s kind of opinion-based," Tatum said. "100 media members have the vote, and what’s the criteria, right? Is there a certain amount of games you need to play? Should you be in playoff contention? There’s a certain amount of points you should average, depending on your position.

"I think there should be something like that in place because I think if you just allow people to just vote and there’s nothing set in place like, 'All right, you've got to play this many games,' whatever it may be. I think that would help it out a lot."

Tatum said he's aware that not many people will feel bad for him and fellow All-NBA snub Donovan Mitchell. But as new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka noted Monday, hopefully Boston's young star can use this as motivation to drive him to new heights next season.