Jayson Tatum gives touching answer about relationship with Deuce originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Jayson Tatum has come a long way since being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2017. Not just as a professional basketball player, but also as a father.
If you’ve tuned in to a Celtics game or press conference over the last few years, chances are you’ve seen Tatum’s son, Deuce, by his side. Deuce Tatum has been a fixture at C’s games and his adorable antics have made him a celebrity of sorts in Boston.
Jayson welcomed Deuce into the world on Dec. 6, 2017, only six months after being selected No. 3 overall by the Celtics. The commitment that comes with playing in the NBA — not to mention developing into a superstar — can interfere with the responsibilities of fatherhood, but as a 19-year-old dad, he vowed to give his best effort for both jobs.
“I think 2017 when I got drafted, I didn’t have Deuce, but he was born in 2017, so that was a big — that was, like, the biggest year of my life, right? Starting this new chapter in my career, I just had a child,” Tatum said. “My mindset was not to sacrifice either, that I was going to be the best father as I could as well as the best basketball player. There was no guideline or there was no, you know, exact way to do it. It was all about what was natural.
“I think that’s what it is. I just do what’s natural. I’m around him every day. I think being able to go through this journey together, because I was 19 when I got drafted, it’s kind of like we’re growing up together. As he’s gotten older, I’m going through my career, sharing these moments, experiencing this together as we grow up.”
Jayson also acknowledged the importance of setting an example for other young fathers by showing his close relationship with Deuce.
“I think it’s the coolest part for me,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s intentional as much as it’s just natural and what we do. I realize that I do have a platform and things like that. If I am a role model for young fathers around the world, that’s great. I think we need more role models like that. Just to have more male fathers be present and things like that, show that you can do both, regardless of whenever you work, whatever your profession is.”
Deuce fans likely will be able to see him Wednesday night at TD Garden when the Celtics host the Golden State Warriors for Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET.
You can watch Tatum’s full press conference below: