Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum wins first title, makes NBA history not named MVP

The Blue Devil standout has reached the mountain top in the NBA
2024 NBA Finals - Game Five; Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum
2024 NBA Finals - Game Five; Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

The moment has finally come for Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum after the Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 106-88, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals for the franchise's 18th championship.

After a devastating loss in The Finals in 2022 to the Golden State Warriors, Tatum has been criticized by many that cover the NBA for his inability to get Boston across the finish line until Monday night.

The former Blue Devil nearly recorded a triple-double with 31 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists on 11-of-24 shooting and averaged 22.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game during the series but was not named as the Most Valuable Player.

Jaylen Brown, who was also the Eastern Conference Finals Most Valuable Player, was named as the MVP of The Finals after posting 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per contest.

Tatum became the first player in NBA history to lead an NBA champion in playoff scoring, rebounds and assists and not win Finals MVP since the award was created.

Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, LeBron James (three times), and Nikola Jokic are the only players to achieve that feat in league history, all winning Finals MVP.

Tatum also became the first Celtics player with at least 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in a Finals game since Bird in 1986. He surpassed Kobe Bryant for the most points scored in his NBA Playoffs career before turning 27 years old.

Jaylen Brown said on the podium that he is sharing his Finals MVP with Jayson Tatum, calling him his "partner in crime." The two have been teammates in Boston since Tatum was drafted No. 3 overall out of Duke in 2017.

It could be the beginning of a very fun summer for Jayson Tatum, who will play for Team USA at the Paris Olympics in late July.