Following his bout with COVID-19, not to mention a rough first half of the season for his Boston Celtics, things are suddenly going pretty well for Jayson Tatum. He was historically good in a recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, dropping 53 points and willing his team to the win after trailing by 17.
Tatum was back at it again on Saturday, lighting up Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to the tune of 44 points, 10 boards and two steals. As a result, the Celtics won their sixth straight game and reclaimed the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.
As eye-opening as his latest outburst was, though, Tatum is clearly just as adept at making waves with his social media activity.
On the eve of his battle with the Dubs at TD Garden, the two-time NBA All-Star took to Instagram with a story post that sent shockwaves through not one, but two fanbases.
Even now, after nearly two full days have passed, people are still trying to figure out make sense of the post.
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Tatum Posts Intriguing Lakers Photo on Instagram
By and large, Tatum has been the opposite of controversial dating back to his arrival in Beantown in 2017. Even when his team’s owner saw fit to shade former Celtic Kyrie Irving recently for leaving the team in a worse state than when he found it, Tatum had nothing but positive things to say about his one-time teammate.
However, he set off a powder keg over weekend.
On Friday, Tatum posted a picture of himself on the court at Staples Center. In the picture, the 23-year-old can be seen peering down at the Los Angeles Lakers logo on the baseline.
The image was quickly screenshotted and shared on Twitter, where it made the rounds in short order:
— Ralph Mason (@Ralph_MasonJr) April 17, 2021
Consequently, the tinfoil hat crowd has gone full-steam ahead with Tatum-to-LA chatter. Never mind the fact that the Celtics star just signed a supermax contract extension to remain in Boston. There’s also the fact that the Lakers’ roster and salary situations make trading for him an unlikely scenario.
Still, given his personal history with the franchise, it’s no shock that some among Lakers Nation have latched onto Tatum’s picture (or that others in Boston are worried about it).
Tatum Was Once a Lakers Die-Hard
He may be a Missouri native, but a younger Tatum was all about Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
So much so, in fact, that he told former NBA sharpshooter Quentin Richardson in December that he dreamed of playing for them. He even copped to actively disliking the Celtics.
“My favorite player and my idol was Kobe and everybody knows that. So, I didn’t like the Celtics at all,” he said, as relayed by SB Nation. “I only grew up, I was like, I’m going to play for the Lakers. Honestly, I never knew what Boston was at. Like I knew only East Coast. But, I’d never been there, I never thought about going there.”
“When I got drafted, it was kind of crazy. Like, I used to hate the Celtics.”
In the end, going to the “hated” Celtics worked out pretty well for him. The Cs have been an annual contender in the East and Tatum has become an elite player in the Association.
Nevertheless, his IG post came off as odd to a lot of people. And given his past Lakers fandom, the Celtics’ overall underperformance this season and the animus that exists between the teams’ fanbases, the concept of Tatum jumping ship to his current club’s historical rival is a very real one for many.
Farfetched though it may be.
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