Cerrone Battle

That 617 Life Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum already a superstar?

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That 617 Life Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum already a superstar?

Over the course of the past month, Jayson Tatum has been putting up big-time numbers for the Boston Celtics. He has averaged 28.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game over his last 10 outings for the C's and has done a lot to back up his All-Star status.

As Tatum continues to improve, it's becoming increasingly clear that he is one of the most talented young players in the league. But there are a couple of questions gnawing at the minds of many NBA fans.

Is Tatum actually a superstar? Or is he merely on the path toward being one and showcasing that upside in this prolonged and productive stretch?

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On the latest episode of That 617 Life Podcast, hosts Leroy Irvin and Cerrone Battle took a deep dive into those important questions and offered their thoughts on Tatum.

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Battle, for one, was ready to call Tatum a superstar and stated that his performance against LeBron James and the Lakers helped to further put him on the map.

I think Jayson Tatum is getting to that level. I think he's already there. And what it takes too -- he done already lit up Giannis. He lit up Kawhi. And he lit up LeBron James. Who else is he supposed to catch? He got Kawhi, the All-Star game, and LeBron James all in a week and a half. People are seeing it and it's like, this dude he is a superstar. And [being a] superstar, it's not about your game. It's how people perceive you. Are you box office? Do people turn on the TV and say 'What's Tatum doing tonight?' That's a superstar.

And Battle actually went even further and spoke of Tatum's ceiling. He said that the 21-year-old Celtics star could have a chance to develop into a Kevin Durant-type player.

I think the ceiling for him -- I know people are going to kill me for this, but I think the ceiling for him is Kevin Durant. I think he's on that same path. Their style of play is the same.

Battle would go on to say that he believes Durant is the best player in the NBA, so needless to say, comparing Tatum to him is a massive compliment.

For more on Tatum's rise to superstardom and where he ranks among the NBA's best, you can click here to listen and subscribe to That 617 Life Podcast.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

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That 617 Life Podcast: Patriots' ties to a Pats-less Super Bowl

The Patriots may have been missing from the NFL's Championship Sunday, but that didn't stop them from being mentioned and having their former personnel play prominent roles in the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

Whether it was former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel coaching the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs or former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helping the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl 54, the Patriots continue to be a talked-about team. 

On the latest edition of the "That 617 Life" podcast, Leroy Irvin, Shanda Foster and Cerrone Battle discussed how the Pats still loomed over the games on Sunday.

"You can not say anything bad about the Patriots because we are always constantly producing talent," Foster said. "I think this is the perfect testament to Bill Belichick."

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Battle said it speaks to the dominance of the Patriots the past two decades that connections to their former players and staff are now all over the league.

"That's what happens when you win," Battle said. "When you win, everybody wants a piece. They want your waterboy. Look at the new head coach of the Giants [Joe Judge, the former Patriots special teams and receivers coach]?... When you're good for 20 years eventually you're going to have your roots all over the league. After years and years of success, I'm not shocked by it."

Irvin and Foster said instead of lamenting a rare NFL Final Four without New England, Pats fans should be grateful.

"I wish Patriot Nation would grow up," Irvin said. "By that I mean I'm tired of seeing on social media people just crying and complaining, 'Oh it's boring without the Patriots.' We've had almost two decades of excellence. We're not there. Get over it."

Said Foster, "I was grateful more than anything. Filled with gratitude. We may never see a run like this again."

In his "Hot Takes and Cold Cuts" segment, Battle says those crowning the Super Bowl 54 opponents as the next dynasties might want to pump the brakes a little. 

"First thing I heard [after the games] is, 'Kansas City they're gonna be around for years and San Francisco they're gonna be around for a long time. They're gonna be contenders forever,' " Battle said. "That was the story all day. 'What is anybody gonna do about these teams next year?' What are they gonna do next year? Not even worry about them. Why? Because this is the Not For Long League. The NFL. Every year, the teams that were hot the year before are never guaranteed to be hot the year after that. Unless you're the Patriots."

The crew also gives their reactions to the new Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary. It's all in this week's "That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast network. Click here to listen and subscribe.

 

That 617 Life Podcast: Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't have saved the Patriots

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That 617 Life Podcast: Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't have saved the Patriots

As Patriots fans watch Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback taking the San Francisco 49ers now one win away from the Super Bowl, there's plenty who lament letting Tom Brady's former backup go.

On the latest "That 617 Life" podcast, Cerrone Battle tells Pats fans to be careful what they wish for. Because when you take a closer look at how Garoppolo has performed with the 49ers, Battle says it's Jimmy G's supporting cast as much or more than the QB that have put the Niners in the NFC Championship Game.

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"The dude's got Emmanuel Sanders, he's got the best tight end in the league [George Kittle] and the best offensive line in the league," Battle tells Leroy Irvin on this week's episode. 

Click here to listen and subscribe to the That 617 Life Podcast.

"The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo are dead last in the league in yards per pass," Battle said. "The ball travels seven yards per pass with Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers are No. 1 in the league in yards after the catch. He's throwing six yards slants and they're taking it 80."

Patriots fans longing for Garoppolo are thinking of the future, argued Irvin.

"What people are looking at is he's 28. Brady's about to be 43. A lot of Patriot Nation is saying the potential is there for him to be great. He's moldable...," Irvin said. "I think it's all about potential." 

The pair make their AFC and NFC Championship Game predictions, touch on the Red Sox cheating scandal that cost manager Alex Cora's his job, Shanda Foster has her "Shanda Sounds Off" segment which includes her take on Julian Edelman's arrest in Beverly Hills and more. 

It's all in this week's That 617 Life" podcast on the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.