Paul Pierce has been working out with Jayson Tatum ahead of the 2023-24 Boston Celtics' season. The former Celtics' star couldn't have been more complimentary when discussing his time with Jayson Tatum, ranking ahead among the best players in the NBA.
”He’s one of the top five players in the league, so it’s an honor just to be there and see him go through his journey,” Pierce said of Tatum on Showtime Basketball’s “KG Certified” with Kevin Garnett.
“I’m there, really, just for support and to see his growth,” Pierce continued. “He’s already at the top of the food chain, so I’m just part of being a support system.”
Calling Tatum a top-five player is high praise, especially given how much top-tier talent there is in the league.
Nikola Jokic has to be at the top of any list after following up back-to-back MVP awards by winning the 2023 NBA Finals MVP trophy. Giannis Antetokounmpo might take a back seat only to Jokic. Stephen Curry is about as great as he's ever been. Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid would have to be considered for any top-five list. Kevin Durant and LeBron James are still playing at an elite level.
Tatum finished fourth in the 2023 MVP voting. The Celtics' star has been an All-NBA First-Team selection in consecutive years. Tatum has also had plenty of memorable playoff moments. He set a Game 7 record by scoring 51 points as the Celtics eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from last season's Eastern Conference Finals.
If Tatum can lead the Celtis to an NBA championship in the upcoming season, just about everyone in the basketball world will likely agree with Pierce's assessment.