The 2021-22 Boston Celtics will only go as far as All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can take them, as they are now the two driving forces currently guiding a team through the early stages of a new era of Celtics basketball.
They sit atop of the team’s hierarchy. It’s a level that’s no longer shared with perennial All-Stars such as Kemba Walker of last season, or Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving of yesteryear.
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Jaylen Brown Says Relationship w/Jayson Tatum is ‘Centered Around Respect’
Tatum and Brown are now the veterans. The All-Star duo are stepping into the most crucial season of their respective careers, which has helped catalyze the dynamic of their growing relationship, according to Jaylen.
“It’s definitely grown a lot. I think it’s centered around respect,” Brown said of his relationship with Tatum, Wednesday afternoon. “I think there’s a respect there. Jayson respects my work ethic and I respect his. We both put a lot into this game regardless of what I do off the court. I put everything, my heart, and soul, into this game. So, I think our relationship is built on respect. I respect Jayson and he is one of the best players in this game, regardless of 25, under, or over. I think he can be one of the best players when it’s all said and done.
“I think the same about myself. So, I think respect is what the relationship is centered around.”
Jaylen Brown Blames Media For ‘Batman & Robin’ Narrative Surrounding Jayson Tatum
As two of the youngest All-Stars playing for the same team, Brown, and Tatum are no longer privy to what’s being said about them. Last season, fans pinned them against one another.
Fans of Brown, who was selected to his first All-Star team last season, argued Jaylen was the better player between Brown and his two-time All-Star counterpart. Brown, however, points blame toward the media.
“I think the media likes to dichotomize things and put one thing against the other,” Brown explained. “Like there has to be a Batman and Robin. We’re just two guys who can hoop. The reality is two guys that can hoop can coexist. The media wants to sometimes write the story that pulls us apart. But, we talk a lot. We won’t let it bother us. We hear a lot of things; the comparisons, etc. But, at the end of the day, I want the best for him and he wants the best for me.
“Regardless of what everyone is saying — that we can’t coexist and don’t play well together, or whatever. I enjoy playing with Jayson, I really do.”
The relationship is centered around respect, but the trust built over the years is what Brown is hoping will yield positive results as he and Tatum will strive to lead this season’s team as a cohesive unit. In the meantime, Jaylen isn’t letting what’s being said about him and Tatum get the best of him.
“He’s a guy I trust out there to make plays,” Brown added. “I know he trusts me out there, as well. Sometimes, it’s not always easy to find. We started our careers together. We won a lot of games here in Boston together at an early age — which is rare and sometimes fascinating to me; to see such an urgency to pin us against each other at times. I could care less about what you read and see. It really doesn’t bother me none. I just try to come out and be the best version of myself as well.
“So, we just take that one day at a time.”