Jayson Tatum can now add ‘Olympic Gold Medalist’ to his increasingly impressive resume. The Celtics’ star forward earned that recognition as a member of Team USA, who beat France in the gold medal game of the Olympic tournament Friday night, 87-82.
Tatum scored 19 points in the final game, the second most only to Kevin Durant’s 29. He was 8-of-14 from the floor, and added a team-high seven rebounds as well.
Former Celtics guard Evan Fournier scored a team-high 16 points for France in the losing effort. Fournier signed with the Knicks earlier this week.
Over the course of the tournament, Tatum averaged 15.2 points per game as one of Team USA’s leading scorers. His best performance game during the group stage, when he dropped 27 points on the Czech Republic in 24 minutes.
With the win, Tatum becomes the first member of the Celtics to win an Olympic gold medal since Larry Bird in 1992 with the original Dream Team. It’s Tatum’s third tournament in in international play – he was a member of the 2015 FIBA U19 championship team, and the 2014 U17 team.
Once Tatum returns from Japan, he’ll have some well-deserved and likely much-needed time to rest up. Between the Celtics’ bubble run last summer, then the short turnaround to the 2020-2021 season followed by the Olympics, he hasn’t had much of an offseason in a while. This year, NBA training camps aren’t expected to begin until September 28.
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.