Celtics icon names one legend Jayson Tatum needs to overtake after surpassing LeBron James, Kevin Durant to clinch best American NBA player title

The Boston Celtics’ versatile forward Jayson Tatum has managed to earn great admiration, owing to his on-court prowess. Since being drafted in 2017 by the Boston Celtics, he has achieved a handful of awards and accolades, like a four-time NBA All-Star and NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP.

In recognition of Jayson Tatum’s potential, a former Boston Celtics player and hall of famer, has just recently placed Jayson Tatum above renowned current NBA stars.

Paul Pierce lavishes praise on Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum had begun his 2023-2024 season on a high note. While the young star’s impressive display dazzled fans, former Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce has praised Jayson Tatum as the best American player.

Pierce emphatically mentioned that “Right now, the best American in the league is Jayson Tatum… I’m just looking around, and I think he’s passed Kevin Durant, I think he’s passed LeBron. The only argument is Steph.”

Paul Pierce, while speaking on the latest episode of “Ticket and the Truth” with former teammate Kevin Garnett, stated that only the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry can be a match for Tatum whom he recognized as the best American player, while also audaciously placing Tatum above Lakers’ legend LeBron James and Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Durant.

Paul Pierce’s view may be perceived by many as sentimental, owing to him being a former Celtics’ faithful player, is sure to ignite high controversy and debate. While Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James are exceptional with a combined 52 years of experience, some might argue that Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker can be included in the conversation, despite lacking an MVP trophy.

Meanwhile, all four players including Tatum have indicated interest in playing for the US roster at the 2024 Olympics in Paris and would be expected to combine efforts for the team’s gold medal glory when the USA Olympic team appears again on the court.

Jayson Tatum’s performance in NBA this season

Jayson Tatum’s 2023-2024 season outputs have been astonishing, which has positioned the Boston Celtics, as one of the toughest teams in the NBA right now.

In one of the Celtics’ recent matchups against the Charlotte Hornets, in which the Celtics fell to an overtime loss of 118-121 scoreline, Jayson Tatum delivered a stunning average of 45 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks, which slotted him among Celtics legends Larry Bird and Tommy Heinsohn, for the most games in Celtics’ history with 40+ points and 10+ rebounds.

Jayson Tatum needs surpassing LeBron James, Kevin Durant to clinch best American NBA player title according to Paul Pierce
Jayson Tatum Via Getty

Jayson Tatum also, in 14 games this season, has averaged 28.2 points, 9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 50.7% FG per game while shooting a career-high 51% from the field and 38% from the 3-point range.

Paul Pierce, highly known for giving a hot take on any issue, is also known to throw weights behind his former team, the Boston Celtics wherever and whenever he can and his summation might contradict other people’s views. But Jayson Tatum with huge potential and on-court prowess evidence, gives Paul Pierce’s view more backing. Jayson Tatum who is on a 5-year contract worth $163,000,300, which ends in 2026, will be hoping to attain greater heights while at the franchise.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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