Charles Barkley likes Jayson Tatum’s MVP chances, even if he can’t remember his name
December 7th, 2022
If leading last year’s run to the NBA Finals wasn’t enough, Jayson Tatum has put the rest of the NBA on notice this season. Now in his sixth year in the league, Tatum is averaging career highs in a number of categories including scoring (30.8 points per game), field goal percentage (48.0), rebounding (8.3 per game).
Those numbers have Tatum squarely in the MVP conversation, with many considering him the favorite a quarter of the way through the season. That includes TNT’s Charles Barkley, who said Tuesday night he considers Tatum the best player in the league right now – even if he can’t remember his name.
Chuck: “That boy in Boston right now, he’s kicking ass and taking names. His name is Jayson Taylor.”
“The MVP of the league right now – no disrespect to Luka [Doncic], no disrespect to AD [Anthony Davis] – that boy in Boston right now, he’s kicking ass and taking names,” Barkley began on Tuesday night’s pre-game show. “His name is Jayson Taylor. Tom. Jayson Tatum.”
“That was an almost perfect delivery up until his name,” host Ernie Johnson remarked.
Despite the flub, Barkley isn’t wrong. It’s hard to argue there’s been a player with a more complete season than Tatum to this point. Not only is he playing at high level, but it’s elevating his team. Meanwhile the same can’t be said about the other two players Barkley mentioned in his leadup. Doncic’ Mavericks are 13-11, and currently in seventh place in the West. Davis’ Lakers are under .500 at 10-13. That pales in comparison to the Celtics, who have the best record in the NBA at 20-5.
That wasn’t the only notable moment from Inside the NBA on Tuesday night. The even more viral clip was Kenny Smith shoving Shaquille O’Neal into a Christmas Tree behind the set.
As for the Celtics, they return to the court Wednesday night to begin a four-game West Coast trip. They’ll be taking on the Suns to get things started, with coverage beginning on 105.7 WROR and the Celtics Radio Network beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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 @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.