Jaylen Brown’s ‘Late-Night Phone Call’ Led to Celtics Star Pairing

Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are going into their sixth season as teammates in the NBA. In their time together with the Boston Celtics, many have speculated what their relationship is like. As many continue to speculate whether they truly get along or not, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported new information about their relationship in his season preview of the Celtics.

According to Mannix, Brown’s prior friendship with Tatum was what led to the Celtics drafting Tatum third overall in 2017, as Brown pushed for then-President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge to take him.

“The friendship, which began when the two were teenagers, roommates at an Under Armour camp, has grown stronger. In 2017, when Boston was debating between Tatum and Josh Jackson in the draft, it was Brown, in a late-night phone call to then GM Danny Ainge, who gave Tatum a push.”

It’s fair to say that Ainge made the right choice with Tatum. As Tatum has blossomed into one of the league’s premier stars, Jackson has already played on five teams since being drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2017.


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Not only does Brown have a good eye for talent, but it was clear that he wanted to be teammates with Tatum from the beginning.


Mannix Dove Into Their Current Relationship

Mannix also dove into what the current feeling is on the rapport between Tatum and Brown. In short, Mannix made it clear that the two of them have absolutely no issue with one another.

Mannix even spoke with Tatum’s trainer Drew Hanlen to point out any lack of conflict the two have with one another or the fallacy of their inability to thrive together.

“Ask those in and around the Celtics about the relationship between the two, and the answers are similar. Great. Ask privately whether there is any friction, and the answers are the same. ‘Jayson brags about how good Jaylen is,’ says Hanlen. ‘How there aren’t many players he would trade straight up for him. Any narrative that they didn’t like each other, that they can’t win together is totally made up.’”


How Tatum Spent His Summer

While talking to Hanlen, Mannix got an idea of how Tatum spent the summer after the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors. According to Hanlen, Tatum put an emphasis on making sure his team won in pickup no matter what.

“In the gym with other NBA players, including Bulls guards Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, Tatum was intense. Post-Finals, says Hanlen, Tatum developed a surliness. ‘He has become obsessed with winning,’ says Hanlen. In one-on-one games. ‘Didn’t lose one all summer,’ says Hanlen. In five-on-five. During one session, Tatum’s team fell behind 0–2 in a best of seven. Before the start of the third game, Tatum barked at his teammates that they wouldn’t lose another. They didn’t.”

Hanlen also detailed what else Tatum did to improve his game during the offseason.

“To increase his burst on drives—Tatum was fouled on only 9.8% of his drives last season, a number he’d like to tick up—he adjusted his posture, dropping his body lower when he faced up. He shot hundreds of floaters. He explored ways to better fight fatigue, tweaking his diet and increasing his conditioning drills.”


Jayson Tatum Top Plays Of The 2022 NBA PlayoffsStay up-to-date on news, live scores and stats with the NBA App:app.link.nba.com/-App222022-06-29T20:00:09Z

Tatum refused to take losing his first NBA Finals appearance lying down, it seems.

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