Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics PF, receives Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award
Ricky Gray | May 31, 2022
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For his performance in the series, Tatum won the inaugural award.
In the first season of the new award, Jayson Tatum has been named the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Tatum led the Boston Celtics to a series win against the Miami Heat, sending them to the NBA Finals.
In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum scored 26 points with 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 46 minutes. The player now receives the award named after the Celtics legend.
In regards to winning the award, Tatum said: "It's an honor. 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."
Tatum continued: "I still feel like a kid at some times that I'm truly living out my dream. I thank God every day just to be in this position to be able to do that. To be the first person to win this award, obviously, after Larry Bird, it still hasn't like sunk in yet. I'm going to take it home and show [my son] Deuce [Monday] and enjoy it."
In the Western Conference, Stephen Curry won the Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP. Curry led the Warriors to a series win over the Dallas Mavericks, defeating Dallas in only five games.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka had a lot of positive things to say about Tatum, "A guy that's carried us throughout the season. sked a lot to be put on his shoulders and has delivered. You look at the numbers, 26-point night and that's standard for him. That's an average night for him."
Even his opponent in the Eastern Conference series, Jimmy Butler said: "He does everything. Shoot the ball, play in the pick-and-roll, he passes the ball incredibly well, gets out in transition. He's a superstar, and he deserved that. They deserve the win. I wish them the best moving forward. He's one hell of a player, that's for damn sure."
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is on Thursday, June 2 and the Celtics will be on the road against the Warriors.