Speculation has swirled about the possibility of the Boston Celtics having to break up the combination of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum due to the fact the two stars, as many have expressed, “can’t play together.”
It’s caused Brown to be included in internet trades with the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and a number of other organizations around the league.
Well, those who don’t believe trading a pillar of the organization is the right way to go about it — which probably makes up a majority of Celtics fans — were granted positive developments the last few days.
Most recently, of course, was a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Monday. Charania, who is as tied in as anyone, noted how the Celtics have no interest in trading either Brown or Tatum. Boston maintains the ideology that the two young All-Stars will make it work. President of basketball operations Brad Stevens and head coach Ime Udoka have shared that publicly a number of times.
Perhaps even more importantly, though, were the words of Tatum and Brown themselves. Both players seemed to refute the notion that they can’t play together after Saturday’s win over the New York Knicks, one of their more impressive wins during a time where struggles have been common.
Brown was rather straight forward in his response.
“I think we can play together. We have played together well for the majority of our career,” Brown said after Saturday?s win, a game in which he recorded the first triple-double of his career. “The last year or so hasn’t gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we’ve gone through now is just going to help us grow and get better in the future. And if we get over this hump and continue to learn, I think it’s a lot of good basketball on the other side of this.”
Brown also shared how he and Tatum spoke after Boston’s hard-to-swallow loss to the Knicks, which came before Saturday’s win. New York won it at the buzzer in what was a brutal loss in a recent span filled with them.
“We’re on the same page,” Brown said of he and Tatum. “I get where all the other frustration comes from, but as long as I’m on the same page with him, and he’s on the same page with me, I think that’s what we?re more so focused on.”
Tatum seemed to refute the notion in a different way, a rather uncommon way for him. The two-time All-Star publicly clapped back at Kendrick Perkins after the ex-Celtic and current NBA analyst posted a tweet boasting about Brown while putting down Tatum. Perkins has shared his opinion about how the two players have not played well at the same time, again, a position shared by many.
Tatum, who finished with 19 points on 6-for-14 from the field, seemingly had enough of it. In doing so, Tatum stuck up for himself and Brown.
Obviously, as Celtics fans have learned throughout the last two seasons, it comes down to consistency for Boston. If Brown and Tatum are able to put together consistent performances and play off each other as they did Saturday, those opinions will lose their leg to stand on. If not, they’ll continue to get louder despite how the Celtics may feel.
But, at the very least, hearing Tatum and Brown showcase a sense of pride was a positive development for those who want the two to remain together in green.