The 2020-21 season was a special one for Jaylen Brown. The Boston Celtics wing enjoyed a career campaign, catapulting himself from a really, really good NBA player to an NBA All-Star. However, despite his brilliance, the 24-year-old readily found himself engulfed in trade chatter — typically surrounding Jayson Tatum’s BFF Bradley Beal.
Helping fuel those talks was the commonly questioned relationship that Brown and Tatum shared. These perceived cracks in their friendship were further brought into doubt by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman this offseason, who told WEEI’s “Merloni & Fauria” that the Celtics teammates are “not buddies.”
However, while the two Jays openly admit that they can function on different wavelengths, that doesn’t mean there is disdain from either party. Brown, in particular, has detailed the respect he has for Tatum this offseason, and in a recent interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, he firmly put an end to the chitter-chatter surrounding his relationship with Tatum.
“If y’all want to hear it from me, that’s my dog,” Brown said of Tatum.
“Personally, I don’t like JT. Let’s just get that out right now (laughter). No, I’m just playing. That’s my man, you know what I mean? It’s weird to talk about it on camera. But that’s my man,” Brown added. “Like if you need something, you can come to me whenever. We got to talk about something? We can pick up the phone, you know what I mean? That’s how it is. I guess it is kind of weird sometimes for people (to wonder about their relationship).”
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Al Horford Downlplays Brown & Tatum Needing to Be Best Friends
Big man Al Horford is entering his 15th season in the NBA. Changing teams four times over the last six seasons and making the postseason with three different organizations, Horford has certainly been around the block. He’s won plenty of games throughout his career, likely with a few prominent players who weren’t exactly the best of friends. However, as he told Bobby Manning of Celtics Blog, that doesn’t really matter as long as there is mutual respect shared between those players.
“You’ve got to have that respect from the beginning,” Horford said. “You don’t have to be best of friends, but they do acknowledge each other. They do respect each other and you can see it, that kind of sets a tone. We’re here to support them.”
Celtics Notch Another Win in their 2nd Preseason Game
While Brown will be called upon to man a hefty workload come the regular season, the Cal product was a no-go for Boston’s second preseason. As Brown continues to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, the Celtics went out and topped the Raptors by a close margin on Saturday, October 9th, edging out Toronto with a score of 113-111.
Tatum and Horford did most of the heavy lifting on the night, leading the way with 20 points and 16 points, respectively. Third-year guard Romeo Langford manned the vacant starting spot left behind by Brown and finished the night with 13 points in 19 minutes.
Langford’s performance comes on the heels of a 10-minute showing vs. the Orlando Magic in the preseason opener, where head coach Ime Udoka noted after the game that they’d like to get a look at the Indiana product in the team’s starting lineup.