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A Very Merry Shopping Spree

​We took Boston swingman Jayson Tatum on a fast break through the mall to find presents for teammates and loved ones on Christmas Day. (And boy, is he about to make Brad Stevens one happy coach.)

JAYSON TATUM IS on the clock. The game: one hour of Christmas shopping at Natick Mall, 21 miles outside Boston, with an assist from his trusty elf—me. Says the rising Celtics sophomore: “Play hard, box out, get back on D, let’s win.”

0:59 We’ve taken a wrong turn in Macy’s. “Nothing here for us,” the 6-foot-8 forward says as we peruse ladies’ undergarments.

0:55 We’re in the holiday section hunting for a fake Christmas tree. “Easier to clean up,” Tatum explains, adding that he never had a tree in the childhood home he shared with his mom, Brandy, who had Jayson when she was 18 and went on to earn a law degree. Tatum, who became a dad last December at 19, says his boy Jayson Jr., or “Deuce,” can expect all the holiday trimmings. “Being able to provide for your kids in a way that maybe your parents couldn’t do for you is a great feeling.”

0:45 We now possess a few Macy’s bags full of Christmas decor, plus an electric cookware gizmo as a gift for Celtics big man Aron Baynes because, Tatum says, “he’s a cook and obviously he likes to eat a lot.”

0:40 Intending to shop for Deuce, we pop into the Learning Express toy store and end up dancing on the keys of a jumbo piano like Tom Hanks in Big. Then shooting drills! The talented scorer launches a bouncy ball at a small shopping basket, a high-degree of-difficulty shot from like 10 feet. Splash.

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December 2018/January 2019

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