Nets’ Kevin Durant Says He ‘Hates’ Playing Against Jayson Tatum in Same Conference; the Celtics Star Reacts

Published 06/05/2021, 12:46 PM EDT
May 22, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots a jump shot defended by Boston Celtics guard Evan Fournier (94) during the third quarter of game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports


Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets go up against the Milwaukee Bucks later this evening. While the Bucks steamrolled past the Heat, the Nets faced off against the Boston Celtics in their first round of their playoff series.

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Coming into the season, the Celtics were touted as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. With players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics were a stacked team. But injuries massively hampered the team.

May 28, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) passes the ball past Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half during game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

With Brown missing from the lineup, the Tatum was tasked to lead the Celtics against the Nets in the first round matchup against the Nets’ big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

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Kevin Durant praises Celtics’ superstar Jayson Tatum

While the Nets comfortably won the series in five games, they were pushed to bring their best on many occasions. Much of it was because of the resilient display by Jayson Tatum. After struggling for the first two games of the series, Tatum made a resounding comeback.

Dropping 50 points in game 3, the 23-year-old led his team to an unexpected victory against the Nets. While the Celtics ultimately losing the series, JT averaged 30.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Durant certainly was impressed with the 2-time All-Star. In a recent appearance at the Boardroom podcast, KD was full of praises for Tatum.

“I guarded him the whole playoffs. He’s shifty with it. He got long arms, too. It’s like, you don’t want to give up the three you know, because he can get hot and that’s how they tend to get going. But he’s just so good off the dribble. Yeah. You know, he’s tough, tough cover.” 

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Durant also said that he was looking forward to compete with Tatum for years to come. “It’s gonna be ridiculous. 23 here tough… I hate that we’re in the same conference. As he starts to getting older and their team, you know, we are gonna be battling with them year in year out.”

The 23-year-old was certainly moved  by the same. In a recent tweet, Tatum reacted to Durant’s latest comments.

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Tatum has certainly solidified his position as a bonafide young superstar in the NBA. Forming an unformidable partnership with Jaylen Brown, Tatum and the Celtics are set for the future. Do you think Tatum and Co. will conquer the East in the near future?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1186 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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