Celtics

Jayson Tatum opens up about Celtics' offseason changes

Celtics

Jayson Tatum is embracing the Boston Celtics' tumultuous offseason.

Shortly after the Celtics' 2020-21 campaign came to a disappointing end, the team announced head coach Brad Stevens will take over for Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations. Stevens' first move as GM sent guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal for old friend Al Horford, who played on the C's from 2016-19.

 

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Just over a week later, Ime Udoka was hired to replace Stevens as Celtics head coach. Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart reportedly were consulted about the hire and gave their stamp of approval.

On Wednesday, Tatum spoke publicly for the first time about the series of moves.

"It was a lot at first with all the changes, especially with the coaches and front office," Tatum told reporters after Team USA practice. "But change is good sometimes. Excited about our new coach, Ime. Obviously, Kemba, that's my man. You hate to see one of your close guys go, but I wish nothing but the best for him wherever he goes. And I'm happy to have Al back. He looked better in green anyway."

Tatum added that he liked all of the Celtics' finalists for the head coaching position and told the team, "you can't go wrong" with any of them.

 

Tatum already has experience playing for Udoka. The 23-year-old and the new C's coach represented Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. This summer, Tatum and Udoka are working together for USA Basketball's Tokyo Olympics team.