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Celtics Legend Calls Jayson Tatum Best Player Born in USA

Jayson Tatum was recently called the best American born player.

Jayson Tatum has plenty of accolades in his NBA career, and he is just 26 years old. He is considered the best player on a Boston Celtics team that finished 14 games better than any other squad in the Eastern Conference. His Celtics currently hold a 1-0 lead in their first-round matchup against the Miami Heat.

Tatum is part of an NBA that continues to become more international. While former great players such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Dirk Nowitzki, and Patrick Ewing, were born outside the United States, more and more players are currently on rosters that were born overseas. The Celtics second-leading scorer in franchise history, Paul Pierce, decided to call Tatum the best player although with a caveat.

Celtics Legend Calls Jayson Tatum Best Player Born in USA

Pierce Calls Tatum Best American-Born Player

Pierce shares a podcast with his former Boston teammate, Kevin Garnett, entitled ‘Ticket and the Truth’. He recently called Tatum the best American-born player today while also adding that he believes he will become the face of the league.

When you look at the top of this season’s MVP race, the frontrunners were all born outside of the United States. The 29-year-old Nikola Jokic will in all likelihood win his third MVP of the last four seasons. He was born in Serbia. The two players expected to finish second and third in voting are Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Doncic was born in Slovenia and Gilgeous-Alexander was born in Canada.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a former two-time MVP and could finish fourth in voting. Nicknamed the ‘Greek Freak’, the 29-year-old Antetokounmpo was born in Greece. The reigning MVP is Joel Embiid, who was born in Cameroon. A knee injury kept Embiid out for some time thus knocking him out of this season’s MVP race. In the games he did play, Embiid averaged more than a point per minute.

Still, Tatum has become one of the best players in the league as well. The seven-year pro has been named an All-Star each of the last five seasons. He made All-NBA First Team in 2021-22 and 2022-23. Tatum may do so again this season. In 74 games in 2023-24, Tatum posted averages of 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists. It was the fourth straight season that the 6-8” forward averaged over 26 points per outing.

Who are Some of the Other Best Players That Were Born in the USA?

The best players born in the United States other than Tatum can really be broken into two groups. One group is players that have been seen as one of the best for a long time. The other are ascending superstars who have plenty of time left.

The long-time veteran list would include Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis. They are over the age of 30, and James will turn 40 in December.

The list of players under the age of 30 would have to include Anthony Edwards, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, and Jalen Brunson.


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