In between jokes and Nelly halftime shows, Boston’s Jayson Tatum balances relishing the moment and preparing for the next

Winning an NBA title is serious business, but not so serious one can’t have some fun on the way to the top.

The NBA Finals are a different beast than not only a regular-season contest for the Boston Celtics but even a playoff series at a lower level of the postseason. Media attention, bi-coastal travel, celebrity appearances, and a media crush unlike almost anything else in sports.

Asked if the experience of his first Finals game at home felt different with Celtics luminaries like Paul Pierce in attendance, Boston All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum joked a bit with the press. “Paul Pierce? We had Nelly — we had Nelly in the building,” he said to a peel of laughter rippling through the crowd of reporters. ” St. Louis was in the house.”

“It’s tough because there is so much media attention,” added Tatum. “The routines are different. We’re practicing at the Garden and things like that.”

“So in those moments, it’s like, this is a lot, this is the Finals, it’s big. But at the same time you want to keep that same focus of we’ve got a game on Friday, we’ve got to lock in,” suggested the St. Louis native.

“When you walk in the Garden and it’s already filled while you’re warming up, you definitely notice a different energy. But you can’t get too caught up in that; it’s still basketball, it’s still a game. We’re just trying to win one at a time.”

Asked how it felt to have Nelly performing at the halftime show wearing his jersey, Tatum smirked and pointed out that St. Louis was a small city, and that his parents knew him since high school.

“Nelly is arguably like the most famous guy from St. Louis,” he grinned, “until I catch up.”

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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New Jayson Tatum Air Jordan “Taco Jays” coming to a store near you soon

The Celtics star’s personal editions from a few years ago will soon be available to the masses.

Evidently, they don’t call him “Taco Jay” for no reason. Boston Celtics superstar forward Jayson Tatum has a pair of shoes to reflect the key visual elements of one of his favorite foods and the inspiration of his nickname, an Air Jordan 36 Nitro “Taco Jay” sneaker designed to pay homage to the Americanized iteration of the popular Mexican staple dish in question.

According to Nice Kick’s Joey Park, the new sneaker in question is a reboot of a Tatum personal edition sneaker already released a few years ago, and should be available for you to pick up (if taco-themed kicks are your jam) in a few more weeks on June 17. “The sneaker uses a Citron Pulse upper that is made of leno-weave which makes the upper durable and breathable with the same hue in suede making up the upper half of the sneaker,” writes Park.

“Green and orange accenting is seen throughout, with Tatum’s Taco logo on the lace pocket and insole. Taco Jay is seen on the heel pulltab with the tongue and tongue pulltab seen in green suede to mimic lettuce on a taco.”

For us at least, it meets the level of “so garish it’s actually great,” but we understand if this unusual sneaker is a bit heavy on the eye holes with this extremely vocal colorway.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Five fantastic Father’s Day gifts for the Celtics fan in your life

Find Dad the perfect Boston Celtics gift for Father’s Day.

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19 and we’ve come up with a list of gift ideas guaranteed to make dad happy this year.

Whether he’s watching every single second of the NBA Finals or just wants another piece of memorabilia for the man cave, the only thing he really cares about is supporting his Celtics.

Give Dad more than a tie this year, give him something that he will actually enjoy. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear him say those two magic words…Go Celtics!

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Celtics players, Twitter react to Will Smith – Chris Rock Oscars incident

Boston players, alumni and media echoed the array of responses to the slapping incident that took place at the 2022 Oscars Sunday.

On Sunday evening, an annual cinematic awards festival spilled over into the pop culture zeitgeist for all of the wrong reasons as renowned actor and rapper Will Smith slapped comedian and host of the moment Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars after Rock made a joke at Smith’s wife expense, the comedian joking about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s lack of hair due to alopecia.

In the Boston Celtics media sphere, the incident caught fire as it did elsewhere, with players and local media weighing in on what they’d seen, or turning it to their own designs by meme-ifying it in ways likely to displace the standard-use meme of Batman and Robin having a similar such moment.

Unlike those two superheroes, however, these were two real people — let’s take a look at how the wider Celtics world navigated that cultural flashbulb moment, for better or worse.

The Celtics have retired 23 jersey numbers (and one name) – these are the players so honored

It’s no coincidence this team has the most retired jersey numbers with 17 banners hanging alongside them.

There are no teams in the history of the NBA to have more titles than the Boston Celtics — at least not yet — so it makes sense there are no other franchises with more retired numbers to honor the players over the decades who earned and hung those banners.

In fact, there are no teams in any sport with more retired jersey numbers at 22 overall, a reflection of the excellence behind the Celtics mystique built by franchise architect Red Auerbach. From his signing with the team as coach and general manager onward, Boston became one of the premier teams of the greatest basketball league on the planet.

But who were the players for which those jerseys were retired after the latest addition of Hall of Fame big man Kevin Garnett? Let’s take a look at them all.