Paul Pierce Taking Heat for Controversial Jayson Tatum-Kevin Durant Take

Paul Pierce

Getty BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 22: Former member of the Boston Celtics Paul Pierce is introduced before the Celtics home opener at TD Garden.

Paul Pierce deserves credit for his undying loyalty to the Boston Celtics. For better or worse, he always finds opportunities to praise his original team, whether it be the entire squad or individual personnel. After what transpired between the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3, Pierce had to get his two cents in. Unsurprisingly, Pierce’s analysis favored the Celtics.

After the Celtics defeated the Nets to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their playoff series, Pierce came out with a scorching hot take surrounding where Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant rank among the NBA’s best players.

While Tatum has definitely outplayed Durant in this series on both ends of the floor, there’s a fair argument that declaring Tatum to have surpassed Durant as a player in the current NBA landscape might be a little unfair. What’s helped Tatum and hurt Durant in this series has been both their team’s continuity and their supporting casts influencing how they’ve played.

Then again, it’s not like Pierce hasn’t had biased takes when he’s discussed the Celtics in the past.

Pierce’s Analysis Set Twitter Ablaze

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that if an NBA Hall-of-Famer like Pierce swoops in with a hot take on Twitter with the platform he has, people are definitely going to have something to say about it. Once Pierce got what he had to say out there, Twitter users were quick to rebuke his assessment of Tatum and Durant.

Though Tatum’s play should serve to improve his reputation across the league, these users are right in the sense that all of this newfound hype for Tatum has been predicated on a three-game sample. Just because Tatum has outplayed Durant in this series doesn’t necessarily mean he has surpassed him as a player overall. Durant deserves some leeway because his support system is far lesser compared to the one he once had with the Golden State Warriors back in 2016.

It is harder for a superstar to play well when his team doesn’t have much talent to support him. Tatum himself should know this firsthand seeing how last year he was going up against Durant with the likes of Evan Fournier and Tristan Thompson among the best support he had.

Pierce’s Words Bring Durant’s Legacy Into Perspective on Twitter

While Durant deserves some leeway for not currently having the best supporting cast in Brooklyn, something that Pierce’s tweet brings to light is that Durant has never really won anything when having vastly inferior teammates by his side. That definitely was not the case back when he played in Golden State.

That may sound a little too harsh at first, but it’s hard not to see that as somewhat true. Although he has two titles to his name, Durant didn’t get those championships without the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green fighting right beside him. Many argue that those Warriors teams were the most talented in NBA history and that it was the addition of Durant that made them the closest thing to unbeatable. It’s pretty hard to lose when you vaulted a title contender to another level.

Now, three years after Durant skipped town to join Kyrie in Brooklyn, he has thus far struggled to prove he can be the best player on teams that aren’t nearly as hard to stop as those Warriors teams were. A lot can change in an instant, but thus far, Durant has not helped his legacy as a winner at all.

Obviously, Durant has already proven he’s one of the absolute best players to ever play in the NBA, but until he proves otherwise, his legacy as a champion will be overshadowed by the fact that he joined a title contender to get the championships he has.