Fan treatment of players changed with sports betting

Morning Sports Update

“It wasn’t like that my first few years.”

Jayson Tatum betting comments
Jasyon Tatum during a Celtics-Wizards game in March. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jayson Tatum’s thoughts on parlays, sports betting: The proliferation of sports betting in the United States over the last few years (which began after the Supreme Court ruling striking down PASPA in 2017) has influenced growing changes across the landscapes of professional leagues.

Where even a single reference to gambling was once explicitly banned, there is now not only an acceptance, but a large degree of embrace (as advertisements for betting platforms have exponentially grown).

This has undoubtedly had an affect on fan culture. More recently, multiple stories have emerged showing the potential impact on players as well.

During a media availability on Wednesday, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was asked about the topic of sports betting.

Tatum said he’d only “briefly seen” the gambling-related stories involving fellow athletes Shohei Ohtani and Jontay Porter earlier in the week, and declined to comment on them specifically.

On the general subject of sports betting, Tatum acknowledged that the dynamic of legalized gambling has altered fans’ treatment of players.

“Fans yell s*** all the time,” Tatum explained. “Shoot one more three, get one more rebound, get 25 before the half is over. So that’s definitely a part of it, for sure.”

“It wasn’t like that my first few years,” he added. “It definitely has changed. I guess when you hit people’s parlays and do good for them, they tell me. But then they also talk s*** if I’m on the court and I didn’t get 29 in a half, or whatever I was supposed to do.”

Acknowledging that he sees the pressure fans place on players—and continues to hear it on the court—Tatum reiterated that he’s only focused on trying to help the Celtics win.

“Yeah, you see people on Twitter,” said Tatum. “Fans going back-and-forth with players on Twitter about how you lost them money. I guess it’s kind of funny. I don’t know. I guess I do feel bad when I don’t hit people’s parlays. I don’t want to them lose money, but yeah know I just go out there and try to play the game.”

Trivia: Since the 2018-2019 season, who are the only two NBA players to score more total points than Jayson Tatum?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One from the east, one from the west.

Scores and schedules:

On Wednesday, the Bruins lost to the Lightning, 3-1.

Today, the Red Sox begin the 2024 regular season in Seattle against the Mariners tonight at 10:10 p.m. Brayan Bello gets the start for the Red Sox, facing Mariners right-hander Luis Castillo.

Also tonight, the Celtics face the Hawks in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m.

And the men’s NCAA basketball tournament resumes tonight with the start of the Sweet 16 round. Two games (UConn vs. San Diego State at 7:39 p.m. and Illinois vs. Iowa State at 10:09 p.m.) will be played at TD Garden.

More from

More from Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman: The former Patriots duo covered a lot of ground in their recent podcast episode, including when they felt the dynasty began to fall apart.

On this day: In 1973, the Bruins defeated the Rangers 6-3 thanks to Phil Esposito’s four goals (he also added an assists). The Celtics also got a win, beating the Baltimore Bullets 120-101 to cap a record-setting 68-win season.

1973 Bruins Phil Esposito

Daily highlight: Isaiah Joe had one of the dunks of the year, but the Thunder lost in the end to the Rockets (Houston is now on a 10-game winning streak).

Trivia answer: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić

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