Despite the success that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have experienced together on the Boston Celtics, NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry says that the two of them share the same flaw as one of the NBA’s former MVPs.
While talking with Eric Jay Santos of Inside the Celtics, Barry compared their flaws to one of the NBA’s most polarizing stars in his heyday.
“Both (Jaylen) Brown and (Jayson) Tatum, who are two talented players, suffer from what I call (Russell) Westbrook syndrome. Westbrook is an incredible talent. I love how hard he plays, but he tries to force things. In the game of basketball, you should always be taking what the defense gives you… Both Jaylen and Jayson, they have a tendency to force things and end up getting a lot of turnovers.”
Brown and Tatum had the two highest turnover averages both in the regular season and in the playoffs, as Brown averaged 3.3 turnovers and Tatum averaged 2.8 turnovers in the playoffs, while the two of them both averaged 2.9 turnovers a game during the regular season.
Barry’s reputation as a Hall-of-Famer stemmed from his work with the Golden State Warriors from 1972 to 1978, with whom Barry won an NBA title with in 1975.
Shaquille O’Neal Says Celtics Should Split Up Duo
NBA Hall-of-Famer and former Celtics big man Shaquille O’Neal gave his thoughts on what he thinks the Celtics’ team makeup should be, including his thoughts on why they should split up Tatum and Brown.
“I don’t want five stars on my team. I want a guy that I can go to every night, I want a guy that’s going to lead, and I want three dogs, three others. I would prefer if they were specialists: one to be a shooter, one to be a rebounder, and one to be a fighter,” O’Neal said on The Big Three Podcast. “I would, business-wise, break [Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown] up and use one of them to get the pieces I want. I will say Tatum is the number one, use Brown to bring in a Brown-type player, and then just do it like that.”
O’Neal added that he can tell being “the other guy” frustrates Brown.
Splitting up Brown and Tatum has been a popular narrative dating back to last season, but at the time, they were underachieving in the regular season. However, the two of them have made four Eastern Conference Finals and made their first NBA Finals last year. Splitting them up while they’re in their mid-20s is very risky.
Jaylen Brown Floated as Rockets’ Target
Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report wrote that trading for Brown should be atop the Houston Rockets‘ to-do list this summer, believing that Brown going to the Rockets could convince James Harden to come back, which could lead to them getting a playoff spot.
“Landing both of Brown and Harden would be tricky, to say the least. But the long-rumored reunion between Houston and James Harden may not have much validity without a competitive roster for Harden to lead. If he knows a Brown trade would be on the heels of his signing there, he might be more willing to come back. And if the Rockets entered 2023-24 with Harden, Brown, and one or two members of the current young core, Udoka could have the team competing for a playoff spot as soon as next year,” Bailey wrote.