It was a tall task for the Boston Celtics to go up against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
But it also was a tall task defending Jayson Tatum.
“Jayson Tatum, I mean, guarding him the whole playoffs, he’s shifty with it,” Kevin Durant said on a recent episode of his podcast, “The Ects. with KD.”
“He’s got long arms, too, so it’s like you don’t want to give up the 3 because he can get hot and that’s how their teams gets going. He’s just so good off the dribble. He gives you five or six dribbles, hesitations, then he’s so long to get to the cup he can finish over bigs. He’s a tough cover.”
Durant went on to discuss his 13-year NBA career and all the special players he’s gone up against in the playoffs. The nine-time All-NBA player put guarding Tatum on the level of his battles with Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.
“He’s that elite level player already at 23 and I’m like, alright, I can see where this is going,” Durant said. “It was an honor to play against him.”
Apparently the feeling is mutual as Tatum on Friday responded to the kind words on Twitter.
“Earning the respect of guys you looked up to,” Tatum said.
Real recognize real.