Report: Jayson Tatum 'Complaining' About 'Not Getting Star Treatment' from Refs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics handles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum earned his first All-Star selection this season, but the refs apparently don't see him at that level yet.

"Jayson Tatum is tired of not getting star treatment from officials and has been complaining about it on the bench and in the makeshift locker room," Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported.

The third-year player finished the year ranked 15th in the league with 23.4 points per game but averaged just 4.7 free-throw attempts per game, the 33rd most in the NBA. That's less than half the free throws that James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo attempted per game.

Earlier this month, Tatum scored 19 points in a 34-point win over the Brooklyn Nets but didn't go to the charity stripe once.

He has just 14 free-throw attempts in his last four games combined. Damian Lillard had 14 free throws in just the play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

While some will dispute "star treatment" is a real thing, the big names do tend to get more calls.

Peter Li of Medium broke down the NBA's Last Two Minutes Report for advantageous calls, noting superstars (players with at least six All-Star selections) get preferential calls on both ends of the court.

Tatum isn't quite at the level of Harden or Giannis, both of whom have won MVP awards, but he is one of the top young players in the NBA. The 22-year-old is a go-to option on an Eastern Conference contender and could be selected to one of the All-NBA teams this year.

He believes his numbers could be even better with more help from the refs, although he likely needs to earn his way there first.