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Mavericks coach Jason Kidd calls Jaylen Brown, not Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ ‘best player’



Mavericks coach Jason Kidd calls Jaylen Brown, not Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ ‘best player’

BOSTON — Elevating the eyebrows of assembled media Saturday afternoon, Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd stated Jaylen Brown — and never the extra adorned Jayson Tatum — was the Boston Celtics’ “finest participant.”

Requested after Dallas’ observe about what’s “difficult” taking part in in opposition to Brown within the NBA Finals, Kidd paused, smirked and stated, “Umm, nicely Jaylen is their finest participant, so simply taking a look at what he does defensively, he picked up Luka (Dončić) full courtroom, he bought to the free-throw line, he did every part.

“That’s what your finest participant does.”

Brown scored a team-high 22 factors in Boston’s 107-89 win in Sport 1 and added six rebounds, three blocks and three steals. He tried 11 free throws however solely made six.

Maybe Kidd doesn’t place a premium on making these pictures, solely taking them. In the meantime, Tatum scored 16 factors with 11 rebounds however shot 6 of 16 in Sport 1.

At any charge, with Sport 2 at 8 p.m. (ET) Sunday at TD Backyard, the opposing coach re-introduced a dialogue the Celtics don’t significantly like.

“They only have to give attention to the reality,” stated Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla on his prime two gamers. “On the finish of the day, no one is aware of as a result of they’re not within the locker room.”

Added Tatum: “We perceive that individuals attempt to drive a wedge between us. I suppose that’s a wise factor for Jason to attempt to do. However we’ve been on this place for a few years, of individuals attempting to divide us, say that one in every of us needs to be traded and one’s higher than the opposite. So it’s not the primary time.”


Jayson Tatum vs. Jaylen Brown? ‘It is bulls—‘ says Joe Mazzulla of media narrative

Tatum and Brown have been paired collectively for the reason that 2016-17 season.

Tatum, 26, is a five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA first-teamer and averaged 23.1 factors per sport in his profession. He’ll play in his second Olympics this summer season and is eligible for a contract extension price greater than $300 million.

Brown, 27, has made three All-Star groups and one All-NBA choice (second crew). He’s averaging 18.6 factors in his profession and final summer season was awarded what on the time was the most important contract extension in NBA historical past — 5 years and $304 million.

“It’s a crew sport and we’re attempting to give attention to that, and, you realize, everyone has their very own opinions,” Brown stated.

Brown felt he was snubbed for not making any All-NBA groups this season. And simply days after studying he didn’t make it, was shocked when 5 of 9 media panelists voted him over Tatum as Jap Convention finals MVP. The vote led to a dialogue on NBA media programming that appeared to pit Brown and Tatum in opposition to one another, which the Celtics took offense to.

Tatum stated he and Brown have had non-public discussions about outdoors makes an attempt to divide them.

“We’ve been simply extraordinarily targeted on what our roles and our jobs are,” Brown stated. “We have now all needed to sacrifice. Jayson has had to do this on the highest ranges, and I respect him and tip my cap for it. However proper now at this level, it’s no matter it takes.”

Maybe he was sharing his sincere opinion, however Kidd, who has two NBA championship rings, is aware of the right way to play this sport.

“He performs each side, protection and offense, at a excessive charge and he’s been doing that the entire playoffs,” Kidd stated of Brown. “You discuss Jap Convention finals MVP, and he looks as if he’s continued to choose up the place he left off.”

Al Horford, who’s Boston’s oldest participant and 38, smiled when requested about Kidd’s tactic.

“Jason Kidd … I see what he’s doing,” Horford stated. “I see what he’s doing. Jaylen is an unbelievable participant. An unbelievable participant.”

— Tim Cato contributed to this story.

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(Photograph: Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE through Getty Photos)

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