NEW YORK — With a day off in New York on Tuesday before Wednesday’s season opener against the Knicks, Celtics star Jayson Tatum joined a couple of other sports stars for a special surprise.
Tatum teamed up with Patriots legend Tom Brady and Yankees star Aaron Judge to surprise nine children with critical illnesses through a new partnership between Fanatics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“It was great being around the kids who obviously were facing challenges in life but fighting to overcome those to be with their friends and families and brothers and sisters,” Tatum said. “To see the reaction on their faces when we came out on the court and played basketball and threw footballs around with them, just got to hang out with them. It was priceless.”
For Tatum, it was also another opportunity to interact with Brady and continue to develop a growing relationship with him. He said he first met Brady when he was still playing for the Patriots, and they occasionally communicate with each other. Tatum is grateful for it.
“Tom is the best,” Tatum said. “He has every reason to be arrogant and all those things, but truly down to earth. He texts me from time to time. He watches the games. He’s just a really, really great guy, and to be the best football player of all-time, it says a lot about him.”
Do Tatum and Brady talk about being sports greats in Boston? The Celtics star, who is still chasing his first championship, doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
“I mean, if I get to that level that’d be incredible,” Tatum said. “I mean, Tom’s the greatest football player of all-time and one of the greatest athletes of all-time. And for myself and everybody that got to watch him and appreciate him, his mindset, his work ethic, the way he approached the game, you can apply that to what we do and essentially striving to be great.”