Celtics

Gregg Popovich believes Jayson Tatum can become 'genuine' two-way player

Gregg Popovich believes Jayson Tatum can become 'genuine' two-way player

Gregg Popovich got to see Jayson Tatum up close and personal over the summer during the FIBA World Cup, and he came away impressed with what he saw.

Prior to Wednesday night's San Antonio Spurs-Boston Celtics matchup, Popovich had some high praise for the 21-year-old's developing all-around game.

"Let's just say that Jayson's probably surprised at the attention I gave him defensively," Popovich said. "But he responded magnificently and as I said, unfortunately got hurt just when I think he was understanding exactly how good a player he can be if he added that to his game. There aren't that many two-way players in the league -- genuine. Some think they are, but you can count them on one hand. And he's got the possibility to be one of those."

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Tatum has taken a huge step forward both offensively and defensively in Year 3 of his NBA career. Entering Wednesday night, he's averaging 21.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. 

There's still plenty of work to be done for the C's 2017 No. 3 overall draft pick. But when you're getting that kind of praise from a guy who coached one of the NBA's best two-way players in Kawhi Leonard, you're doing something right.

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Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

It's no surprise that the Boston Celtics, the team that has won more championships than any other — 17 — also has an incredible list of point guards that have taken the floor over the franchise's storied history.

Their most famous floor general, Bob Cousy, helped the Celtics to their first six titles, but some of the best point guards in team history have taken the floor more recently.

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Much more recently, in fact. Brad Stevens has only been Boston's head coach since 2013, but he has coached four different All-Star point guards in that time.

Some of the team's best point guards have even gone on to success in the Celtics front office and on the sidelines. 

So from Cooz to Kemba, DJ to Jo Jo, these are the best point guards in Celtics history.

Click here for Chris Forsberg's Top 10.

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

When a report surfaced Monday night that the NBA is launching an NBA 2K tournament pitting players against each other, Boston Celtics fans all had the same thought:

Gordon Hayward isn't just going to participate in this. He's going to dominate it.

The Celtics forward, after all, is probably the NBA's most avid video gamer, with his own sponsor (HyperX Gaming) and numerous blog posts about his love for gaming.

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But when ESPN's "The Boardroom" revealed the 16 players who will compete in the tournament Tuesday, Hayward was nowhere to be found.

What gives? Does No. 1 overall seed Kevin Durant have a vendetta against Hayward? Is Hayward too good to concern himself with these casual gamers?

In all likelihood, there's a simpler answer: Hayward doesn't really play 2K -- or any sports video game, for that matter.

Here's Hayward in a 2011 interview with ESPN:

"The one thing I've never been into are the sports games. I don't know, I just don't like playing those as much. I bought 'NBA 2K11' just to see myself. It was creepily similar and it's cool to say that you're in a video game, but I'm just not into it that much. I'm more into first-person shooters and real-time strategy games."

That's still the case today, apparently. Hayward lists seven "favorite games" on his HyperX Gaming page, and only one of them (FIFA) is sports-related: Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, FIFA, Destiny and Clash Royale.

In that context, it's obvious why Hayward wasn't one of the 16 competitors selected, especially considering how many other players are obsessed with 2K.

That said, we would have liked to see at least one Celtic make the cut here; after all, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum both starred in a trailer for NBA 2K20 last August.

The tournament kicks off this Friday on ESPN, giving sports fans at least something to watch (aside from "Classic Celtics," of course) while the NBA is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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