BOSTON (CBS) — The future of the Boston Celtics is bright. So bright, in fact, that few have even hesitated when comparing rookie Jayson Tatum to one of the all-time greats in Celtics history, Paul Pierce.
While such comparisons might seem a bit lofty, such things tend to happen when Tatum is out there matching Larry Bird in some rookie accomplishments.
And though Pierce wasn’t eager to share his spotlight for an Isaiah Thomas tribute video earlier this year, he’s more than happy to welcome the Tatum comparisons.
“He has a lot of craftiness to his game, and that probably reminds I lot of people of me,” Pierce told The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn. “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.”
Pierce noted that he was 21 years old as a rookie, while Tatum was just 19 up until March. Considering where Tatum is after a solid rookie season at such a young age, Pierce sees great things ahead.
“He’s a superstar in the making,” Pierce said. “You can compare a kid like that to me anytime you want.”
The comparisons, though, don’t end there for Pierce. He sees big things for 21-year-old Jaylen Brown. Very big things.
“[Brown] sort of reminds me of Kawhi Leonard, man. Like, seriously,” Pierce told Finn. “Strong, very athletic in the open court, an improving handle, and now he’s knocking down 3’s with confidence. He is way ahead of the curve.”
That’s quite the comparison for Brown, though a look at their year two stats shows that it’s not all that far off.
As for the series that Brown and Tatum find themselves leading 2-0 over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers? Pierce said these Celtics may be able to do what Pierce’s squad did back in 2010 in sending LeBron to a new home.
“We could be seeing history repeat itself,” Pierce told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. “That’s the funny part about it, because if Boston beats them, we all know he’s gone. He may be gone anyway.”