Jayson Tatum speaks out on Jason Kidd saying Jaylen Brown is Celtics’ best player

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum reacted to Jason Kidd’s comments that he’s not the best player on the Boston Celtics, saying the Dallas Mavericks head coach might be trying to “drive a wedge” between him and Jaylen Brown during the 2024 NBA Finals.

Kidd has put forth the idea that Brown is in fact Boston’s best player, citing his defensive work on Dallas star Luka Doncic in the series opener.

Doncic did manage to score 30 points but had just one assist in Game 1 on Thursday, a lopsided 107-89 loss at TD Garden. Brown scored 22 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists, while his defense contributed to the Celtics holding the Mavericks to just nine assists the entire game. Tatum managed to score just 16 points but contributed 11 rebounds with five assists.

Playing in Tatum’s shadow on the Celtics, Brown may be getting overlooked as a burgeoning superstar in the league. Despite another strong season on both ends of the floor, he was not named to any All-NBA team for the 2023-24 campaign and was left off the league’s All-Defensive teams as well.

“Various reasons I feel like I don’t get the credit or respect that I have earned,” Brown said recently. “And I just, I’m at the point in my life where just I don’t give a f—, y’know? I could, I may never get it, and I’m okay with that. I am who I am. I do what I do. And I believe in what I believe in. So, the ones who wit’ me, let’s rock and roll, and the ones who aren’t can kiss my a–.”

It is thought that those snubs may be giving Brown even more motivation to win the NBA championship for the first time. Boston has advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals six times since his debut in the 2016-17 season but has not won a title in that time.

The Celtics also made the 2022 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. In that series, Brown led Boston in scoring at 23.5 points per game, ahead of Tatum at 21.5 points per outing.

Kidd’s praise of Brown might have a motivating effect on Tatum for the rest of this series, which continues with Game 2 at Boston on Sunday. A heightened competition between the two Celtics teammates for the possible honor of NBA Finals MVP could turn out to be very detrimental to the Mavericks’ title hopes.

A strong showing in the Finals, this time including the NBA championship, could go a long way to deciding if Tatum or Brown is indeed the Celtics’ best player.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.