Stephen A. Smith believes Jayson Tatum should start over Kevin Durant in All-Star game


ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum should get the nod and start over Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant in the All-Star game.

Tatum and Durant are two of the top vote getters in the Eastern Conference frontcourt alongside Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid.

There are only three starting spots available between those four players and the current share of the vote has Durant ranked as number one, Antetokounmpo second, Embiid third and Tatum fourth.

Tatum is fourth in the league in scoring (30.8 points per game) compared to Durant in seventh (29.7) and averages more rebounds whilst producing similar assist numbers.

In an appearance on Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green’s podcast, Stephen A. Smith made the argument that despite Durant topping the polls, Tatum should start instead.

“I would have to remove K.D. That’s saying a lot from me because I think when K.D.’s healthy, he’s the best on the planet, and I think he’s a leading candidate for MVP.

“Here’s where I can pick Tatum over K.D. – similar stats but a better record. And by the way, the last time we saw y’all two against each other, Tatum swept you. That’s why.”

Jayson Tatum on track for MVP-caliber season

Jayson Tatum is doing something no Boston Celtic has ever achieved in a full season – averaging over 30 points per game.

Not only is the 24-year-old scoring the ball in elite fashion, he has the defense to match also and is arguably the most valuable player in the NBA today with an emphasis on the importance of two-way wings.

Tatum’s brand-new signature Jordan shoes will release next month as he becomes the latest star to get his own silhouette to wear on the court.

Following the Celtics’ fourth straight victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, Tatum marked his 13th straight game with at least 25 points and has scored the most points ever by a Celtic in the first half of the season.

The former Duke star is gunning for revenge after an underwhelming NBA Finals performance in June and has responded in the manner that all elite players do.

Coming off the back of a historic 2022 playoff run where Boston fell short in the NBA Finals, Tatum is hungry for revenge and according to NBA betting sites the Celtics are favorites to win the Larry O’Brien trophy this June.

Sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference with the best record in the league (30-12), Tatum is the best player on the best team and is sure to mount a strong challenge to win MVP later this year.

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