In just his second year in the NBA, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has made a huge impact within the league after being the third overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Among his impressive moments, he’s already made sure that one of his most memorable is immortalized in his home.
That moment is a photo of Tatum dunking over former Cavaliers forward LeBron James in Game 7 of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Tatum indicated following the Celtics’ practice on Tuesday that the sheer size of the picture makes it hard to miss.
“I’ve got a big-ass picture of [the dunk] in my house,” said Tatum.
Sopan Deb of the New York Times described how the fourth quarter play developed:
“Starting from outside the 3-point line, Tatum took two dribbles with his left hand to get to the rim before hammering a right-handed dunk past James, who attempted a block as a helpless defender. Tatum followed the booming with a chest bump of James, one of his boyhood idols, as if to say, ‘I’m here.’”
James himself paid tribute to Tatum after that game and showed his respect by making plans to seek him out for offseason workouts:
One reason why James was able to reflect in such a positive manner was the fact that the Cavaliers were able to hold on in that game for an 87-79 victory, sending them to their fourth straight Finals. His own contributions were key to the victory as he narrowly missed a triple-double with 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.
Tatum was the next highest scorer in that contest, finishing with 24 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. He ended up last season as a member of the All-Rookie team and saw a slight increase in his key statistical averages this year, averaging 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Despite that improvement, there have been rumors that inconsistencies in his game could lead the Celtics to include him in a trade package to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. Regardless of whether that takes place, Tatum will have the lasting memory of the time he got the better of one of basketball’s all-time greats.