Tatum: Celtics need Brown to be ‘best version of ourselves’

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics did their best as All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown played their best basketball at the same time.

Whether that partnership can last long enough to take the franchise to an 18th NBA title has been the constant question surrounding the Celtics for the past two seasons as rumors have swirled about Boston’s willingness to see Brown potentially against higher-profile stars to exchange

It covered this past offseason when reports surfaced of possible trade talks between Boston and Brooklyn after Kevin Durant made a trade request.

Brown has consistently said he didn’t let any of the on-court rumors distract him, as evidenced by his career-high averages in points (26.7) and rebounds this season. He had 27 points and seven rebounds in the Celtics’ 120-95 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night and helped Boston stay in the hunt to tie Milwaukee for first place in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

However, in a recent interview with The Ringer, he also admitted that he was so concerned about the recent Durant trade talk that he was forced to reach out to both Tatum and basketball operations president Brad Stevens on a conference call .

Tatum confirmed that detail after Friday’s win, saying that in the call he and Stevens let Brown know he was a valued member of the organization.

“I’m just stating the obvious — that we need him,” Tatum said. “He’s a big part of this team, this franchise. Without him we cannot reach our goal. you know that The world knows. The team knows that. We need it to be the best version of ourselves.”

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Although Brown maintains a largely quiet demeanor on the court, he said on Friday he tries to keep an open mind when he feels it necessary.

“I’m a person who likes to share how I feel about certain things and situations,” Brown said. “And sometimes when I’m not speaking, people are speaking for you. And sometimes things get taken out of context and get lost in translation. I mean these things happen.

“But I choose my spots. Of course I’m not going to overcompensate and just talk about everything and just let everyone know what I think about everything because sometimes it’s not everyone’s business. … In a way, I like using my platform to talk about certain topics.”


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