Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Respond to Jason Kidd Calling Brown Celtics' Best Player

May 13, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jaylen Brown (7) celebrate after a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jaylen Brown (7) celebrate after a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Could Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd be engaging in a little gamesmanship ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday?

Kidd minced no words during Saturday afternoon's press conference when he called Celtics star Jaylen Brown, not Jayson Tatum, Boston's best player.

Naturally, NBA fans and media alike were wondering if Kidd was trying to influence how Tatum and Brown come out and play in Game 2.

It's not the first time the Celtics' co-stars have been dealing with media narratives such as this, and they're clearly not interested in taking the bait.

"I don't have no reaction," Brown said. "It's a team game, we're trying to focus on that. Everybody has their own opinions."

When asked if he thought Kidd was trying to drive a wedge between himself and Tatum, Brown complimented his teammate, while reiterating that the team is locked in on the task at hand.

"I'm not sure. I don't know," Brown said of Kidd's perceived tactics. "We've been just extremely focused on what our roles and our jobs are. We've all had to sacrifice. Jayson's had to do that at the highest of levels, right? And I respect him and tip [my] cap for it. But right now, at this point, it's whatever it takes to win and we can't let any outside interpretations get in between that."

Tatum wasn't surprised that another media narrative was surfacing trying to divide the two best players on the team.

"No reaction," Tatum said when asked about the comments. "This is a team sport, right? We understand that. We wouldn't be here if we didn't have JB on our team. And we can say that for a lot of guys, right? We've all played a part in getting to where we're at, we understand that."

"You know, people try to drive a wedge in between us. I guess it's a smart thing to do or try to do. But we've been in this position for many of years of guys trying to divide us and say one of us should be traded or one's better than the other. It's not our first time at the rodeo."

Regardless of whether or not Kidd is trying to gain a psychological edge on Tatum, Brown and the Celtics, it does not appear to be working.

Sunday night will tell the true tale in Game 2. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.