Where Tatum’s 26th birthday stats are among the all-time NBA greats

By | March 3, 2024

Where Tatum’s 26th Birthday Stats Rank Among NBA All-Time Greats Originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

All the “he’s only 19” jokes aside, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is celebrating his 26th birthday on Sunday. Now seven seasons into his NBA career, Tatum’s impressive numbers already place him close to some of the game’s greats.

Here’s a look at how Tatum’s career stats compare to players before their 26th birthday:

Points (regular season)

LeBron James – 16,081 (582 games, 27.63 per game)
Kevin Durant – 14,851 (542 games, 27.40 per game)
Carmelo Anthony – 12,711 (514 games, 24.73 per game)
Tracy McGrady – 12,423 (565 games, 21.99 per game)
Kobe Bryant – 12,215 (561 games, 21.77 per game)
Jayson Tatum 11,381 (495 games, 22.99 per game)
Devin Booker – 11,363 (482 games, 23.57 per game)

Only five players have scored more points than Tatum before turning 26. Like Booker, the most impressive thing about the 2017 No. 3 pick is that he ranks high on this list despite having played in far fewer games compared to those around him.

Wins (regular season)

Tony Parker – 391 (540 games, 72.40 percent)
Kobe Bryant – 391 (561 games, 69.69 percent)
LeBron James – 364 (582 games, 62.54 percent)
Dwight Howard – 331 (567 games, 58.37 percent)
Jayson Tatum 327 (495 games, 66.06 percent)

The Celtics have been a playoff team since Tatum’s inception in 2017, so it’s no shock to see only four names above him for most wins. With Tatum on the court, Boston maintains a 327-168 regular season record, winning 66.06 percent of its games.

The Celtics have a 16-20 record in the 36 regular season games Tatum has missed throughout his career. As in the points category, Tatum once again played the fewest games compared to those above him. Taking winning percentage into account, the former Blue Devil would be in third place.

3-pointers (regular season)

Jayson Tatum 1,239 (495 games, 2.5 per game)
Luka Doncic – 1,118 (382 games and counting, 2.9 per game)
Bradley Beal – 1,071 (488 games, 2.2 per game)
Trae Young – 1,053 (404 games and counting, 2.6 per game)
D’Angelo Russell – 1,002 (404 games, 2.5 per game)

While not necessarily known as a sharpshooter, no other player has hit more three-point shots before the age of 26 than Tatum – for now. With Doncic having just turned 25 this past week, the Slovenian ‘wonder boy’ still has time to overtake Tatum and still has a full year to catch up.

Every name on this list is a current player, which is no surprise as the three-point shot has become more of a familiar shot compared to the history of the league.

Points (including postseason)

LeBron James – 18,162 (653 games, 27.81 per game)
Kevin Durant – 16,960 (615 games, 27.58 per game)
Kobe Bryant – 14,909 (680 games, 21.93 per game)
Carmelo Anthony – 13,815 (559 games, 24.71 per game)
Jayson Tatum 13,585 (589 games, 23.06 per game)

With postseason games in the picture, Tatum rises to fifth in the rankings for points scored. From this list, Bryant (119) is the only player to appear in more postseason games before turning 26 than Tatum (94). Tatum would move up one spot in the rankings per game.

Wins (including postseason)

Kobe Bryant – 467 (680 games, 68.67 percent)
Tony Parker – 463 (651 games, 71.12 percent)
LeBron James – 406 (653 games, 62.17 percent)
Jayson Tatum 379 (589 games, 64.34 percent)
Darryl Dawkins – 370 (575 games, 64.34 percent)

With the Celtics’ success since drafting Tatum, where they seem to make deep playoff runs every year, it’s no surprise that Tatum is near the top of this list. With Bryant and Parker each part of their own teams’ respective dynasties — the Lakers and Spurs had already won three titles before the aforementioned stars turned 26 — Tatum will still be in the hunt for his first championship, just like James at the same age .

3-pointers (including postseason)

Jayson Tatum 1,463 (589 games, 2.5 per game)
Luka Doncic – 1,216 (382 and counting, 3.2 per game)
Bradley Beal – 1,166 (528 games, 2.2 per game)
Trae Young – 1,123 (431 games and counting, 2.6 per game)
Donovan Mitchell – 1,087 (384 games, 2.8 per game)

Adding postseason games to the mix tightens Tatum’s stranglehold as the player with the most three-pointers before 26, taking a lead of more than 200 triples. On a per-game basis, the five-time All-Star drops to second behind Doncic, who could pass Tatum with a year left in his contract.

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