Duke basketball product passes Larry Bird on all-time list

Duke basketball alum Jayson Tatum is already leapfrogging legends on lists.

Yes, the game has changed. If Larry Bird’s career had fallen in this era, the Hall of Fame forward probably would have attempted countless more shots from deep across his 13 years in the NBA, all with the Boston Celtics. Still, as it is, former Duke basketball one-and-done Jayson Tatum needed only a little more than four seasons to pass him on the franchise’s all-time 3-point list.

Although Tatum has wound up only 1-for-9 from deep in two straight outings, his lone splash during Boston’s 123-104 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night did the trick in terms of breaking his tie with Bird. Now, the Celtics’ No. 3 overall draft pick from 2017 sits alone at No. 5 on the list with 650 makes from 3-point land in regular-season play.

The official Twitter account of the Boston Celtics honored Tatum’s accomplishment via the following creative photoshop:

Also worth noting, Tatum’s 38.9 career shooting percentage from downtown is higher than the 37.6 percent that Bird turned in at the time of his retirement in 1992. Again in fairness, though, the NBA’s implementation of the 3-point line coincided with Bird’s rookie season and preceded the NCAA’s 3-point line, meaning he and others pretty much had to hone their three-ball on the fly.

Four notches to go for the Duke basketball product

Here are four Boston names remaining ahead of Jayson Tatum when it comes to 3-point makes as a member of the Celtics:

  1. Paul Pierce (1,823)
  2. Antoine Walker (937)
  3. Ray Allen (798)
  4. Marcus Smart (702, active)

Assuming the mere 23-year-old Tatum stays in Boston for another decade or so and steers clear of the injury bug, one would think the gifted all-around forward could climb his way to the top.

Jayson Tatum is the leading scorer this season among all NBA Blue Devils with his 25.2 points per game. The St. Louis native is also averaging 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks, and a career-high 8.4 rebounds.

The Boston Celtics (10-9) next face the San Antonio Spurs (4-13) on the road at 8:30 p.m. ET Friday.