Jay Williams Calls Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown Split ‘Dumbest Topic’

'What's the point of a coach?'


May 31, 2023

The primary discussion after the Celtics’ playoff exit is what Boston should do with Jaylen Brown, but for one NBA analyst, the topic is not worth talking about.

The C’s failed to make history and lost Game 7 to the Miami Heat at TD Garden on Monday. Boston faces a potentially tough offseason. Joe Mazzulla is expected to remain as head coach, but his staff could see changes, and Brown is eligible to sign a five-year, $295 million supermax contract after being named to an All-NBA team this season.

The 26-year-old had a poor Game 7, and while he took responsibility for the loss, fans and analysts questioned whether he is the right fit next to Jayson Tatum. But the discussion might not be worth having.

“(Mike Greenberg), this is the dumbest topic,” Jay Williams said on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Wednesday. “OK, so he had eight turnovers in Game 7, and people think he can’t dribble. And he’s still worth $286 million. He’s a top-15 player in the league. When did LeBron James win his first title? I think he was 28. When did Steph (Curry) win his first title. He was 27. These guys are 25 and 26 years old. I still would much rather build with them, and by the way, if it goes this year and then you don’t win, I still don’t think you have a high trade market for Jaylen Brown.”

The Celtics received praise for having a deep roster, and the young age of their superstar duo theoretically means the sky’s the limit for their development. Other pundits are not buying the argument and believe the C’s should acquire stars like Trae Young or Damian Lillard for Brown. However, the blame on Boston’s failures aren’t all on Tatum and Brown.

“What’s the point of a coach? A coach is supposed to make you better,” Williams said. “… So let me put you in operational parts of the floor to make your game better. Personnel-wise, let me surround you with not scorers but shooters. Let me force you to take more twos than ask you to take 77 threes in the last two games. The coach is supposed to make you better.”

Tatum and Brown made multiple deep playoff runs during their six-year run as teammates, but an NBA championship still alludes the duo. It’s clear the Celtics need to change something prior to the 2023-24 season, but the focus likely will be on supporting Tatum and Brown and not breaking them up.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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