Boston Celtics finally broke their 12-year streak of missing the finals as they defeated the Miami Heat 100-96. The Celts were led by Jayson Tatum with 26 points and had 10 rebounds, and six assists while shooting 9-21 from the field and 4-7 from the deep. But Tatum won hearts as he wear a special purple armband with the number 24 as a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.
The former Los Angeles Lakers player has been a great inspiration for Tatum and hence he wore the special armband. “This was the biggest game of my career so far, so I wanted to wear that armband to honour him and share that moment,” Tatum said after the game. “Game 7. Everybody knows how much he means to me. My idol and my favourite player. Just to have something to show him in the biggest game of my career so far. It worked out.”
He also praised his teammates for an incredible season and said, “It’s our fourth time in the conference finals. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. The road we took to get here, not a lot of people believed in us. To get over the hump with this group means everything,” Tatum continued. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. The road we took to get here, not a lot of people believed in us. We took the toughest route and it worked out.”
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 30, 2022
“It still doesn’t even seem real right now,” Tatum
After the match, Tatum also won the inaugural Larry Bird Eastern Conference MVP award. He was elated with this award and said, “It’s an honour. It still doesn’t even seem real right now. I’m just extremely happy and grateful for all of this.”
“Regardless of how long I’ve been in the league, I’m not too far removed from when I was in high school and when I was dreaming about moments like this. I still feel like a kid at some times. That I’m really truly living out my dream. I thank God every day to be in this position to be able to do that,” he added.
“To be the first person to win this award, obviously, (named) after Larry Bird, it hasn’t sunken in yet. But I’m going to take it home and show Deuce tomorrow and enjoy it.”