Boston Celtics

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 29: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after being awarded the Eastern Conference Larry Bird MVP trophy after defeating the Miami Heat in Game Seven to win the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

2022 is the first year the NBA has awarded Conference Finals MVP. In the Eastern Conference, the new trophy is named after Celtics legend Larry Bird – so it’s only a fitting a current Celtic cementing his own legacy would be the first to win it.

Following the team’s Game 7 win over the Miami Heat Sunday night, Jayson Tatum was announced as the series MVP. For the series, he averaged 25 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.

In the closeout game, Tatum had a team-high 26 points on 9-of-21 shooting that included a 4-of-7 success rate from three. He also had 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and a steal.

“It’s an honor. It still doesn’t even seem real right now. I’m just extremely happy and grateful for all of this,” Tatum said after the game. “Regardless of how long I’ve been in the league, I’m not too far removed from when I was in high school and from when I was dreaming of moments like this. So something I still feel like a kid, living out my dreams. So to be the first person to win this award, named after Larry Bird, it still hasn’t sunk in yet. But I’m going to take it home, show Deuce tomorrow, and enjoy it.”

Of course, this isn’t the end of the road for Tatum or the Celtics. They’ll now turn their attention to the NBA Finals, which begin Thursday in San Francisco.