Celtics' Jayson Tatum says fatigue in 2022 NBA Finals inspired him to change his diet, cut out fried food – CBS Sports
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Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns when he criticized the diet of his young teammate, Anthony Edwards. “I know you all think it’s funny up here when he talks about Popeye’s and all that s—,” Towns said. “That doesn’t make me happy to hear. We’re high-level athletes.”
It turns out that Towns isn’t the only NBA star taking a closer look at eating habits. During an appearance on In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum revealed that changing how and what he eats was one of his major adjustments coming off the team’s loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals last season.
“That was part of something I wanted to change from my experience in the Finals and my level of fatigue. I talked to my trainer and was like, ‘I want to eat better, I want to change my diet.’ I’ve never been on a diet, I’ve always been able to eat what I want, but I’m just trying to find ways to give myself and edge. Eating more consistently, eating better, losing body fat, trying to gain muscle. Getting a chef and having him prepare three meals a day.”
“Not so much any more fried food like french fries, Yeah, no more [Popeye’s]. No, because anything that will help me play better, I can start today. So it’s not gonna be hard.”
Tatum played 3,714 minutes last season between the regular season and playoffs, and both he and the team as a whole seemed to run out of gas at the end of their grueling postseason run. At the time, Tatum refused to make excuses, saying after Game 5, “It’s just mental. You got to fight through that. I’m not the only person that is tired or dealing with injuries or whatever. Last two teams standing.”
However, in an interview with Sports Illustrated prior to the start of this new season, Tatum admitted what everyone else could see. “I was exhausted,” Tatum said. “Didn’t feel like talking to anybody. Didn’t feel like being bothered. It’s hard to explain if you have never been in that situation. But losing a championship was f—ing miserable.”
As his dietary decision shows, Tatum is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top, both on and off the court. So far, both he and the Celtics are reaping the benefits of his sacrifice and hard work. Through four games the team is 3-1 and Tatum is putting up 32.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 55.6 percent from the field.
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