When it comes to who will become the NBA’s best player, score one for Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum.
Who will become the NBA’s best player? While the sexy choices are either Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic or New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson, “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith warns not to sleep on Boston Celtics rising star Jayson Tatum.
After making his first All-Star appearance and torching the NBA in the month of February, the 21-year-old Tatum not only made a statement to the league but was recognized as a “problem” by today’s best player LeBron James.
So, who can argue with Stephen A?
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Mavericks fans and Pelicans fans will make their case, but Boston Celtics fans have to love the argument Mr. Smith made for their boy Tatum.
"“…I’m leaning toward Jayson Tatum. I’m just a huge Jayson Tatum fan,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” when asked who will become the NBA’s best player. “He’s about two to three inches taller than Luka Doncic. He’s clearly a much better defender. He’s averaging nearly 20 points (per game) on nearly 45 percent shooting and nearly 40 percent shooting from 3-point range, which is considerably better than the 3-point shooting of Luka. …I just look at Jayson Tatum and what he’s asked to do and how he’s just 22 years of age. Just 22. He’s got a handle, he’s got a shot, he can go to the hole, he can finish at the basket. Plus, he can defend.”"
As far as making the case of Tatum over Zion Williamson, Smith expressed his love for the young rookie, but deferred once again to the Celtics young star being more of a complete package and it’s hard to disagree with the display Tatum put on for the NBA world before the 2019-20 NBA season went on hiatus.
Not only did he display extreme growth on both sides of the court, Jayson Tatum’s confidence in his game continue to grow and will continue to grow along with his body, which makes his sky of superstardom limitless and also makes him a very dangerous young player who is already establishing himself as an elite two-way player.
While it’s unfair to compare the trio of Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson to the 80’s trio of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, each of these young players have exhibited similar talent and, in some cases, have more athleticism.
In time, who knows what each will be, but this argument is just beginning given the age of each player. As for right now, Tatum certainly has to take the lead due to what he has already done in the NBA.
Not only has the Boston Celtics swingman already made an All-Star team in just his third year in the NBA, let’s not forget what he did as a rookie.
Without Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum was a major piece of guiding the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in just his rookie season.
Let’s all not forget the dunk on LeBron James in that Game 7 loss that let the King of basketball and the entire NBA that he arrived…and boy has he arrived. But, don’t get it twisted, his destination of potential still has not been reached. Have to agree with Stephen A. Smith.