What They Said: Bam's Block on Tatum


In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo came through with the block heard 'round the world on Jayson Tatum to seal the deal. It was the first rejection of a potential game-tying or go-ahead dunk in the final minute of a postseason game since the NBA began tracking play-by-plays during the 1996-97 season.

Check out some reactions to the play below:

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt

“I think that might be the best block, given the stakes, in the moment, that I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m not the hot take guy. I’m not a hyperbole guy. But I’m telling you: stage, stakes, block, that’s as good as there is.”

University of Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

“That block. What? That ball was in the basket. What? How about this one: who would even go after it? Who would even try to say, ‘I’m not going to get posterized?’ They’d have ducked their head and ran under. That dude went with it in the rim.”

ESPN's Tim Legler

“A lot of people are going to bring up the LeBron block in the Finals, obviously, and the magnitude of that, the championship that Cleveland [won], but it’s different. He ran him down from behind, and Iggy never got above the rim. This is Jayson Tatum cuffing the ball, and he right now is the most shocked guy on earth that Bam actually caught this.”

“That’s one of the best defensive plays I’ve ever seen, period, particularly with the circumstances.”

ESPN's "The Jump" Crew

Richard Jefferson: “I can’t act like I know all of the NBA history, but it’s one of the top five blocks that I’ve ever seen. We’re talking about an overtime, Jayson Tatum, going up. And this is the thing: normally you see verticality. Now, guys have to actually go and get blocks. That block by Bam is something that we rarely see in the league, so it makes it even that much more impressive.”

Kendrick Perkins: “For him to go get that with his opposite hand, his left hand, in that crucial moment. And he wasn’t afraid of embarrassment. He wasn’t afraid to get dunked on. He was like, ‘No, I’m going to make this play.’ That was phenomenal.”

Rachel Nichols: “I do think the fact that it was his off hand is just part of what made it so phenomenal. The strength, right? Jayson Tatum cocked back, and the ball was in the cylinder. I mean, it was incredible…this is…so impressive considering Bam’s just youth and [him being able] to just have the right moment.”