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Gilbert Arenas Crowns Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum “Best Players Alive” Citing Bizarre Theory

Published 11/19/2023, 1:16 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Riding on their five-game winning streak, the Boston Celtics just defeated the Raptors last night, 108-105. The team’s small forward, Jayson Tatum, torched the Raptors with his 17-point score, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Celtics are ranking No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, with Tatum being the league’s season leader in plus-minus rating.

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‘Taco Jay’ is averaging 27.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists with a 50.2 FG% this season. Tatum has played 12 games, and Curry made an appearance in 11. Do you think one can draw a comparison between Tatum and Curry for the title of the best NBA player alive?

Gil’s Arena debate on Jayson Tatum vs. Stephen Curry


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In tonight’s episode on Gil’s Arena, there was a heated discussion that ensued after Paul Pierce’s tweet was read. Paul Pierce tweeted, “Tatum is the best American basketball player in the world.” After laughing at how the veteran has figured out his way to use the emojis, the cast got into comparing which player perfectly fits the pedestal. Although the center of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid, got his American papers, Tatum still ranks as the No. 1 hooper in the league, as per Josiah Johnson. While the rest of the crew disagreed, one name popped up amidst the ‘No’s.’ While Gilbert Arenas draws his aversion from considering Tatum as the best American hooper, he even presents a vivid theory to state that Stephen Curry fills that void in the league.

Arenas said, “When you say you are the best player in the world, you shouldn’t be able to stand behind your team. So, that means one-on-one basketball.” He added, “You are not going to trick me into the new logic. All right? Magic Johnson was playing team basketball. Larry Bird was playing team basketball. Michael Jordan was playing one-on-one basketball by himself. And he became the best payer in the world.”


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Gilbert Arenas stands a little radical on that note. But if we think rationally, is Jayson Tatum the best American hooper, or Curry?

Jayson Tatum vs. Stephen Curry


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It was a relatively easy-to-answer question early on in the 2022–23 season; however, when the players faced off in the 2022 finals, the comparison attracted some attention. The superstar of the Boston Celtics and the future Hall of Famer Warriors point guard, indeed electrified the audience with their stellar minutes on the hardwood. Taking into account the pick-and-rolls recorded last season, Curry holds a clear advantage in terms of pace-adjusted volume, assigning 3 pick-and-rolls per 75 possessions or more than Tatum. This tally can even be enhanced if we include the four extra pick-and-rolls per 75 possessions in the playoffs.

On the other hand, the offensive play displayed by Tatum and his ability to score on all three levels award him the special lead. A comparison still exists between a star-level offensive Tatum and an all-time great offensive player, ‘Golden Boy’. However, Curry does get some brownie points in the offensive parameter, with a backline advantage. As a team player, Curry might not be able to keep the Warriors afloat, but Tatum is doing his part in sustaining the winning streak.


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What are your views on this comparison? Drop your views in the comments section.

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Written by:

Siddhanshi Sharma


One take at a time

Siddhanshi Sharma is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. Her aspirations reach beyond writing, with dreams of becoming an analyst in the NBA world. To achieve this goal, Siddhanshi meticulously tracks and analyzes all the latest developments in the NBA, leaving no detail unexamined.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe