Kevin Durant recognizes talent when he sees it. After going against Jayson Tatum in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, he praised the player.
The 23-year-old demonstrated that his potential is off the charts, balling against the Nets' big 3, challenging them every game. The Celtics couldn't keep up with Durant and co., but Tatum was the reason why his team could aspire to compete against the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.
Durant saw firsthand how difficult it is to go against Tatum, and the player left a big impression on the 2014 NBA MVP. Talking on his The ETCs podcast, Durantula put Tatum at the same level as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. He called the young player one of the most challenging matchups he's faced in the league.
“I’ve been in the league for 13, 14 years and I started to like tally mark the matchups, the series, the players that I’ve played against,” Durant said, via Mass Live. “… I’ve had series against Kobe, LeBron, Tim Duncan, the Memphis Grizzlies—Jayson Tatum is in that conversation. He’s that elite level player already at 23 and I’m like, alright, I can see where this is going. It was an honor to play against him.”
This is certainly a big honor for Tatum. Ever since he entered the league, he's gotten a lot of recognition. Kobe Bryant was a big admirer of his game, LeBron James has praised him a lot, and now KD confirms that we are in front of somebody who can make a big impact on the game.
The Celtics forward reacted to KD's comments, saying it was great knowing that his idols respect his game.
Tatum was really good for the Celtics this year. They struggled to get things going but having JT on the roster was a relief for them. He's the reason why they made the playoffs and could win one game vs. the Nets, dropping a 50-piece.