Despite having a career year, Jayson Tatum was not included in any of the three All-NBA teams for the 2020-2021 season. At the time of the announcement, many called him one of if not the biggest snub of the year. Appearing on Kick’s Beyond the Media podcast, Tatum addressed not being named the media-voted teams for the first time since they were announced earlier this month.
“For sure, I know I should have made it with the season I had,” Tatum told host Ashley Nevel. Tatum’s 26.4 point per game average – a career high for the 23-year-old, was the 11th-best in the league and ranked fourth among forwards.
Tatum didn’t just miss out on the recognition. There was an incentive in his contract worth $33 million that would have kicked in had he made any of the three All-NBA teams.
“$33 million on the line, obviously that would make anybody feel some type of way,” Tatum said. However, he added that it’s more than just the financial loss that stung. “I wasn’t necessarily upset about losing the money,” he continued. “I think I just felt like – the way I was playing everything that I did, I thought it was – I thought it should have been a no brainer. And I think I was just more frustrated with that.”
Given the stakes involved with the All-NBA teams, Tatum says he’d like to see some sort of change to the voting process, possibly involving statistical thresholds.
“Most guys, at some point, have money on the line for awards like that, all-NBA,” Tatum said. “I think what they do need to change is – it’s kind of opinion based. 100 media members get to vote and – what’s the criteria? Is there a certain amount of games you need to play? Should you be in playoff contention? There’s a certain amount of points you should average depending on your position? I think there should be something like that in place, because I think if you just allow people to just vote and there’s no set – there’s nothing set in place like ‘you’ve got to play this many games’ or whatever it may be, I think that help it out a lot.”
Despite those comments, don’t think Tatum is critiquing the voting from a purely monetary point of view. “I know nobody is necessarily going to feel bad for me and Donovan [Mitchell, who was also seen as a snub] because we still get paid a lot of money,” he said, “I think it’s just more – I just felt like I deserved to make it, money aside.”
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.