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Paul Pierce On Jayson Tatum

Strong praise indeed

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One
BOSTON, MA - MAY 13: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Kevin Love #0 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the third quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce, now retired, was asked about former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum and he didn’t mince words in his praise. Check it out:

“When I came out, I was a 21-year-old. He was 19 for most of this season. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but a year-and-a-half, two years, that’s a lot of developmental time. I had three years of college [at Kansas] to develop. He had one year [at Duke], and he’s already doing this. He’s a superstar in the making. You can compare a kid like that to me anytime you want.”

”I see a lot of things Jayson does—how he creates space, gets to the hole deceptively, the way he knocks down shots. He’s a real shot-maker; he can get his shot off on anybody. He’s smart. He uses his body well, the way he pushes off with his shoulder to get an open shot. He has a lot of craftiness to his game, and that probably reminds a lot of people of me.

”I see it, I definitely do. I wasn’t the most athletic guy. Tatum is a lot more athletic than I was. He can use either hand. Once he gets a little stronger in the near future, look out. I mean, he’s obviously smart beyond his years.”

Consider that Pierce was a 19-year NBA player who had a Hall of Fame career. That’s a very strong commendation of a first-year player.

He goes on to compare Jaylen Brown to Kawhi Leonard and spoke of his great admiration for how Al Horford respects the game and plays the right way.

He concludes with this:

“The younger guys seem to have taken on [Horford’s] mindset in a lot of ways, and I think what they’ve learned from him is one of the reasons we’re going to be talking about this team for years.’’

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