On Tuesday night, the NBA announced its All-NBA Teams for the 2021-22 season. Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum made All-NBA First Team. It marked his second appearance on an All-NBA Team, as he was voted onto the Third Team after the 2019-20 season.
Tatum joined Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets on the First Team.
After the announcement was made, two of his teammates made sure to show their appreciation on Twitter. Both Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown retweeted the announcement, showing love to their teammate for his accomplishment.
While Tatum was the only Celtic to make an All-NBA Team this season, he wasn’t the only one who received votes. According to the NBA’s totals, Brown received three votes for All-NBA Third Team, but it wasn’t enough to earn a spot.
With the feat, Tatum joins a long line of Celtics greats to make the All-NBA First Team.
Tatum Cements Himself Into Celtics Lore
The last Celtic to earn a place on the All-NBA First Team was Kevin Garnett, who made the squad in 2008, which also happens to be the last time the Celtics won a championship. Before that, one would have to travel all the way back to 1988 to find another Celtics on the First Team. Larry Bird made it that season.
In 1988, the Celtics were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Detroit Pistons, so Tatum has already matched Bird’s production from that season. But if he wants to mirror Garnett’s success in 2008, he still has a ways to go.
Just like in 2008, Boston has an All-NBA First Team player and the Defensive Player of the Year on their roster. Only this time, Tatum and Smart are taking up those roles, while Garnett occupied both of them in 2008. Regardless, the similarities between the two squads are uncanny.
The comparisons don’t end there, though. A member of the 2008 title team even likened this current Celtics roster to the one that one a championship 14 years ago.
‘I Haven’t Seen Celtic Pride Like This Since 2008’
On the May 11 edition of ESPN’s First Take, Kendrick Perkins, who was the starting center for the 2008 Celtics, likened this 2022 Celtics roster to the one he won a championship with.
“I haven’t seen a defense, and I haven’t seen Celtic pride like this since 2008,” Perkins declared. “And we know what happened in 2008, when we saw a Celtics defense like this one right here. They went on to win it all.”
Perkins’ comparison is rooted in stats. This year’s Celtics team led the league in defensive rating with a 106.2. The last time Boston led the league in that category was in 2008 when they recorded a rating of 98.1.
So, with Tatum making All-NBA First Team, Smart being named DPOY, and Boston holding the NBA’s best defense, maybe the 2022 Celtics are destined to repeat history. But first, they need to take care of the Miami Heat.
Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals will take place on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time and can be streamed on ESPN.