Celtics' Jayson Tatum Says 'I Tell Everybody I've Got the Same Genes as Giannis'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 8, 2019

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum warms up before a preseason NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Boston, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has at least one thing in common with reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Per The Athletic's Jay King, Tatum used his offseason growth spurt as a point of comparison with the Milwaukee Bucks star. 

"I tell everybody I've got the same genes as Giannis," he said. "I'm still growing. Like, three more inches and 30 more pounds."

King noted Tatum has grown three-quarters of an inch since being drafted in 2017 and is now 6'7⅝" but will be rounded up to 6'8" on the Celtics' official roster.

Between the time Antetokounmpo was drafted by the Bucks in 2013 and the 2014 NBA draft, he grew two inches from 6'9" to 6'11" and increased his weight 27 pounds from 190 to 217. 

Heading into his seventh NBA season, Antetokounmpo is officially listed as 6'11" and 242 pounds by NBA.com. The Greek Freak is coming off his best year with 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game to help the Bucks win an NBA-high 60 games in 2018-19. 

The Celtics would love to see Tatum take a leap like that as they try to rebound from a frustrating season. The former Duke star will be counted on to help lead them on the court along with Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown. 

Tatum was solid last season with 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, but he didn't improve upon his rookie campaign when he shot 43.4 percent from three-point range and averaged 18.5 points per game in the postseason.