Jayson Tatum might be on his way to his first NBA Championship, but he still thinks his son is the coolest part of him.
Before the Boston Celtics’ win against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the NBA star talked in a Tuesday press conference about his close relationship with his 4-year-old son, Deuce.
“I think 2017 when I got drafted, I didn’t have Deuce, but he was born in 2017 so that was big, that was the biggest year of my life, right? Starting this new chapter in my career, I just had a child,” Tatum explained. “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 exact way to do it. It was all about what was natural.”
He continued, explaining their relationship and how he’s gone about his own journey through fatherhood.
“I just do what’s natural, Jayson said. “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. I think it’s the coolest part for me.”
As for his position as a role model to other young fathers across the globe, the baller thinks it’s “great.”
“I think we need more role models like that,” said Tatum, who welcomed Deuce when he was 19. “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.”
Since the Celtics star constantly keeps his toddler by his side, he’s become beloved among NBA fans, something Jayson said caught him off guard while speaking with reporters during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in February.
“It’s cool and he enjoys it,” he explained in a clip, according to The Boston Globe. “Every time he comes to a home game, people cheer when they see him. They scream his name when he comes to games on the road and here at All-Star [Weekend]. He has his own personality.”
He continued, “On the court [I want Deuce to remember me as] … a competitor, somebody that just always wanted to win. Every time he comes to the game, he sees how I give it my all, I’m doing everything I can in my power to help us win. Because as he gets older, team, sports, that’s what’s most important is winning and everything else besides that will follow.”
Game 4 of the NBA finals airs Friday at 6:00PM PST.