Kevin Durant complimenting Jayson Tatum right now doesn't make all that much sense, after all, Tatum's team just swept him in the first round of the NBA playoffs. A large feature in the Celtics' dominant performance was their ability to hamper Durant with excellent defense, and Tatum was central to that, while also being the first option on offense. Even he knows how good he's been, and he's not surprised.
Tatum's stock has gone up again this season, he has been central to the team performing at an elite level after a torrid start to the season. His averages of nearly 27 points and 8 rebounds while playing stellar defense in the regular season only went up in the playoffs as the Celtics have shown that they have another gear beyond the quality most people already knew about.
And if there are NBA fans or media members that are surprised, Kevin Durant certainly isn't, speaking to Yahoo Sports about his belief in JT's talent and what he expects the Celtics' young superstar to achieve in his career.
“I told Jayson when he was in high school, he gonna sell shoes, he gonna be an All-Star,” Durant said. “So for him to do this? I expect him to do this; it’s no surprise to me. I expect him to be a Hall of Famer, 30,000 points, three-time Olympian. I expect that out of him because that’s how talented he is. That’s how great he is.”
Jayson Tatum was special even when he was in high school, exploding in his sophomore season and averaging 26 points and 11 rebounds. In his senior year, those numbers went to 29.6 points and 9.1 rebounds, and he led his high school team at Chaminade College Preparatory School to the Missouri Class 5A State Championship.
The stakes are much higher now, but the fact that legends like Kevin Durant have shown faith in his abilities from a young age must be a factor in Tatum becoming one of the best. players in the world. He will be hoping to carry this on and lead this Boston Celtics team all the way to an NBA championship after an incredible first-round performance.