NBA

Tatum after 49-point game: MVP chants are 'something I dreamed about as a kid'

By Sports Desk November 30, 2022

Jayson Tatum says hearing the Boston Celtics' fans chanting "M-V-P" for him is something he dreamed about as a kid.

Tatum scored a season-high 49 points in the Celtics' 134-121 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, where he played in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales, who sat courtside.

The fans quickly moved on from the royals' presence as they chanted "M-V-P" in honour of Tatum as early as the first quarter after scoring his side's first six points.

The 24-year-old small forward shot eight-of-12 from three-point range along with 15-of-25 from the field, while making 11-of-12 from the line.

Tatum, who has previously spoken about wanting to one day be the MVP, also had 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals in an all-round display showcasing why the Celtics fans adore him.

"That means everything," Tatum told ESPN about the "M-V-P" chants. "That's something I dreamed about as a kid.

"To hear it in front of our home crowd, in front of the best fans in the world, holds a special place in my heart. I love this place. I love being here.

"Hearing that during the game gives you chills."

Tatum's scoring performance was his third 40-point game this season, while he became the first player in NBA history to record multiple games of 45-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and eight-plus three-pointers.

It was also Tatum's ninth 30-point game in November, which is the equal most in a calendar month in his career. Only Larry Bird (10) has more in a month for the Celtics.

Tatum also became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 900 three-pointers made.

"I'm just glad I hit some threes tonight," he said. "I've been shooting terribly from three, so it just felt good to see some go in… I'll get 50 a game one day."

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