Jayson Tatum hasn’t grown any taller. He’s still 6-8. You’ll have to let Celtics coach Brad Stevens explain.
“I’m pretty sure I said (he’s 6-10) in like July in jest, and I was just talking about it in terms of, he’s long, he’s active,” Stevens said, according to NBC Sports. “And it decided to have legs in early December, which was an interesting media study or social media study of its own, I guess.”
Stevens made his comments in August, but the point is that he was exaggerating for effect (whether giving Tatum an extra two inches made Stevens’ point any different is up for debate). Stevens actually referred to Tatum as 6-10 again during training camp, so maybe he’s convinced himself that’s the case.
“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.'”
When the “news” of Tatum’s growth spurt came out, it started quite the buzz on social media. One of the NBA’s best young scorers and shooters had added two inches? Look out, league. Except, well, it wasn’t real.
Unfortunately for defenses, Tatum will still be plenty tough to stop at 6-8, and fortunately for Tatum, he didn’t need a growth spurt to earn a $195-million contract extension.
How tall is Jayson Tatum?
Jayson Tatum is 6-8. He’s been listed at 6-8 since his one-and-done season at Duke, and he’s still listed as such on the Celtics’ official website.
Rumors that Tatum had grown to 6-10 started with Boston’s head coach himself.
In August, Stevens told MassLive, “Some of these teams that are ‘small,’ Tatum is 6-10 and (Gordon) Hayward’s a big guard, Jaylen (Brown)’s a big guard. You kind of go through and they’re not that small versus maybe traditional lineups.”
Stevens only clarified recently that he didn’t actually mean Tatum is 6-10, just that he can feel that way with how lanky and active he is.
Being 6-8 has suited Tatum just fine. He can shoot his jump shot over basically any defender, and he just scored 23.4 points per game in 2019-20. He also makes a difference defensively with his length as well as on the glass.
Tatum is still only 22, so maybe he’s got a tiny growth spurt left, but for now he’s still 6-8 — and still pretty much unguardable.