Jayson Tatum Names Porzingis as the Missing Piece, Draws Bryant-Gasol Comparison

‣ Jayson Tatum sees Kristaps Porzingis as the “missing piece” for the Boston Celtics, comparing his potential impact to how Pau Gasol helped Kobe Bryant win championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

‣ The Celtics have struggled in recent playoffs, with Tatum experiencing losses in the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Finals, but the addition of Porzingis is viewed as a solution to their past issues, particularly against teams that employ a switching defense strategy.

‣ The trade that brought Porzingis to Boston involved letting go of Marcus Smart, a long-time Celtic, which was initially seen as a risk but ultimately made sense for the team’s championship aspirations.


Ah, the Celtics. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride in these last few years, huh? They’ve been dancing around that NBA title, leading the Eastern Conference standings and all, but somehow, the playoffs become their Achilles’ heel. It’s been a minute since 2008, the year they last hoisted that NBA trophy high. Jayson Tatum, the star, is itching to change that narrative this year.

So, in a chat with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Tatum spills the beans. He’s got high hopes for Kristaps Porzingis, calling him the “missing piece” for the team from Massachusetts. And guess what? He even draws a parallel to Paul Gasol’s role with Kobe Bryant. “Kobe really needed Pau,” Tatum muses, thinking Porzingis could be his Gasol.

And there’s this tweet, right? SportsCenter’s got Tatum’s belief in Porzingis being the game-changer for the Celtics all over the internet. It’s like, “We’re going all the way this time, folks!”

Back in ’08, the Lakers snagged Gasol, hoping he’d fill the void Shaq left. That move? Golden. Led to an immediate Finals appearance and two championships. Tatum, though, he’s seen his fair share of near-misses. Four Eastern Conference Finals in seven years, but that NBA Finals win remains elusive. Last year? A heartbreaker against Miami in seven games.

But with Porzingis now donning the green, the Celtics look ready. Ready to end that 16-year championship drought. Tatum admits, Porzingis was a bit of an enigma at first. But now? “He’s lived up to all the hype.”

Last season’s struggle against Miami’s switching game? Tatum believes Porzingis is the answer they’ve been searching for. “KP is like the ultimate answer for that.”

Then there’s the Marcus Smart trade. Letting him go to Memphis was tough, felt like a gamble. Tatum, reminiscing about attending Smart’s wedding, felt like it was the end of an era. “It was like the band was breaking up.”

Lamar Stevens, though, he’s all about giving it time. People grow, players evolve. “This was risky,” he admits. But improvement? It’s a must. “If we’re not trying to improve, we’ll stop being good,” he quotes assistant coach Jay Laranaga.

So, there you have it. The Celtics, with their new “missing piece,” are all geared up. Could this be their year? Time, as they say, will tell.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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