As calls to separate them grew louder, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown grew closer: ‘two fiercely competitive young guys who really want to win at all costs’

As the Celtics struggled in the early months of the season, falling as low as outside the Eastern Conference top 10, meaning they wouldn’t qualify for the play-off tournament, let alone the playoffs. , calls to sever the partnership between Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown amplified.

The team and its first-year head coach had to adapt to each other, and injuries and the pandemic often forced Boston to play shorthanded. Still, those who determined it was time to trade one of Tatum or Brown gave that sample size more weight than the two leading the Celtics on multiple trips to the Atlantic Conference Finals. East.

Despite the louder outside noise with each loss, Jayson Tatum was confident that he and Brown would lead Boston in the right direction.

“Honestly, I believe there are only two young, extremely competitive guys who really want to win at all costs,” Tatum said on the eve of the NBA Finals. “So it brought us together in the sense that we wanted to understand. Not to prove people wrong, but just to prove we could win,” adding “there was always a sense of conviction.”

Jaylen Brown felt the same way: “We were able to win in our careers before. This year I didn’t feel like it was because of the way we play basketball. It just didn’t happen. simply not produced at the right time. At the start of the season, I missed 15 games because I was injured. The story is not going to say that.”

At the end of her response, Brown said, “We live in a town that has no patience, where there are no excuses, so we haven’t made any. We’ve gotten better, we got together and the front office took action that made sense.”

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Now, Tatum and Brown have led the Celtics past the Eastern Conference Finals barrier, onto the NBA’s brightest stage, and a chance to lift the 18-tier banner at the TD Garden rafters.

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Further reading

Ahead of NBA Finals, Ime Udoka provides updates on Marcus Smart, Robert Williams

Celtics prepared, not intimidated by their team’s first trip to the final: ‘We know what we are here to play for’

Celtics will welcome difference between Eastern Conference and NBA Finals schedules

Celtics discuss season change, move beyond Eastern Conference Finals: ‘It can’t rain forever’

Jayson Tatum Named Larry Bird’s Eastern Conference Finals MVP

What stands out in Game 7: Celtics defense, Tatum’s 26 points lead Boston to NBA Finals

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