Brad Stevens is a pretty honest guy. But a tall tale he told this summer has taken on quite the life of its own.
We’re guessing you’ve seen the hullabaloo about Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum growing two inches this offseason from 6-foot-8 to 6-foot-10. USA Basketball teammate Donovan Mitchell already has roasted Tatum over his apparent growth spurt, while some fans are convinced Tatum’s two extra inches will help take his game to new heights.
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But did Tatum actually grow two inches? Where did this all come from? Celtics head coach Brad Stevens addressed the hot-button issue Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand.”
Brad Stevens and Jayson Tatum have basically been laughing at us all about the story of Tatum's random growth spurt. @ZoandBertrand pic.twitter.com/cnAoZf20UY
“I’m pretty sure I said that in like July in jest, and I was just talking about it in terms of, he’s long, he’s active,” Stevens said. “And it decided to have legs in early December, which was an interesting media study or social media study of its own, I guess.”
A quick correction: Stevens actually dropped the 6-foot-10 reference in late August while highlighting his team’s size.
“Some of these teams that are ‘small,’ Tatum is 6-10 and (Gordon) Hayward’s a big guard, Jaylen (Brown)’s a big guard,” Stevens said at the time, via MassLive.com. “You kind of go through and they’re not that small versus maybe traditional lineups.”
Stevens again referred to Tatum as 6-foot-10 earlier this month, which led to a couple misleading tweets, which led to HeightGate.
Brad Stevens says Jayson Tatum has grown to 6'10.
Jayson Tatum is now listed at 6'10, per Brad Stevens
(h/t @BostonCelts4eva) pic.twitter.com/AiqipcH9KD
To clarify, Tatum is still listed at 6-foot-8 on the Celtics’ official website and his NBA.com stats page. At least the head coach and young forward got some amusement out of the situation, though.
“Tatum came in the next day and he was just laughing,” Stevens said. “And I said, ‘The good news is, we can pretty much start anything. I just have to say it. So, we had a good laugh about it.’ “
Tatum hit just 4 of 13 shots Tuesday night in the Celtics’ preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, so maybe Stevens will bring him back down to 6-foot-8 before their next game Friday night.