Boston Celtics

By Ty Anderson,

If the 2018 NBA Playoffs told us anything, it’s that the Celtics have something special on their hands in Jayson Tatum.

The No. 3 overall pick from last year’s draft, the 20-year-old Tatum saved some of his best work for the Eastern Conference Finals, where he went up against his cousin (Cavaliers coach Ty Lue) and a man he begged for a follow from on Twitter four years ago (Cavaliers superstar LeBron James) and not only held his own, but thrived.

In the seven-game series, Tatum averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game, while shooting 49.5 percent from the field. He also closed his series out with a massive dunk over King James, and with a little post-dunk bump, too.

And Tatum apparently has a fan in James, too.

After the two shared a moment on the Boston parquet following Cleveland’s 87-79 victory, the 33-year-old James was asked about his feelings and specifically that postgame moment with Boston’s No. 0.

“I just love everything about the kid,” James offered after his team’s Game 7 victory when asked about the 20-year-old Tatum. “The way he plays the game, his demeanor, where he comes from. I know his parents. I just know he’s just built for stardom. He’s built for success. And that’s both on and off the floor.”

“That was a special moment for me, because it’s different,” Tatum admitted after the loss.

“It’s my first year in the league. I grew up watching LeBron and asking him to follow me back on Twitter, going to his camps,” the Boston rookie continued. “So just to [be in] my first year, to be able to compete against a player like him and be a few shots away from beating him and his team to go to the championship is something I will always remember.”

James also had some kind words for veteran big man Al Horford, as well.

“Me and Al, we’ve had a lot of battles in the postseason and been on a lot of All-Star teams together,” James, who has gone against Horford in the postseason in four different series now, said. “I’ve always had a lot of mutual respect for Al and the way he conducts himself, not only as a player but as a professional, both on and off the floor. That was the moment there.”

“Two guys right there that — Boston is very lucky to have them,” said James.

Ty Anderson is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.