Jayson Tatum Said He And Jaylen Brown Were ‘Fueled’ By People Saying They Can’t Play Together

For several seasons, a singular question has swirled around the Boston Celtics: Can Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown win a championship together? The two star wings have redundant skill types that don’t necessarily amplify one another on a roster that lacks high level playmaking.

The noise got even louder after the Celtics started 16-18 and fell to 11th in the Eastern Conference, with plenty of fans and media wondering aloud whether Boston should pick one to build around and move the other at the deadline. Well, Jayson Tatum heard the noise and he said it fueled he and Brown all season after the Celtics’ Game 7 win over the Miami Heat moved Boston into the NBA Finals.

“I think all of those things have helped. From saying that we need to split the group up or get rid of somebody or me and JB cant play together. That fueled us to figure it out and not run from it. That you know we’re obviously going to be here for awhile and that we trust in each other and that we have to be better. So yeah, I think instead of separating, we became closer and that’s shown throughout the season.”

It turns out that deploying two 6’8 shot-creating wings who defend at a high level works really well in the playoffs. Boston dismissed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, endured seven games of Giannis hell, and overpowered a resilient Heat team all behind the leadership of Tatum and Brown. The duo now has a sneaky long playoff resume and an Eastern Conference trophy to display. The noise around their ability to play with one another always felt a bit premature and the duo has all but silenced that with their run to the Finals.