There was a lot to dislike from that performance, and former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins went on Twitter that night and called out C’s star Jayson Tatum.
Perkins revealed on NBC Sports Boston’s “Celtics Postgame Live” earlier this week that Tatum actually called him to discuss the tweet.
The Celtics, and Tatum in particular, have been red-hot since that defeat to Philly. Boston has won four consecutive games entering Thursday night’s matchup against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Tatum has averaged 34.5 points over that four-game stretch, including a career-high 53 points in a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” show about the call between Tatum and Perkins, and he approved of it.
“I love the fact that Jayson Tatum picked up the phone and called Perk – that’s good that they have that connection,” Ainge said. “I know that Perk only cares for Jayson’s success. I think that there’s players available (to talk to), and I also know that players in our league now, they’re listening to other players.”
Ainge added: “(Tatum) will seek out those who can help him. Sounds like he was seeking out Perk and wanted genuine feedback from what Perk was saying about him that he didn’t like.”
Tatum looks like a more focused, aggressive and engaged player since that Perkins tweet. It’s one of several reasons why the Celtics are playing some of their best basketball of the season. Building on this momentum will be critical for the C’s as they prepare to face some quality opponents over the next week.