It turns out Boston Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can win together.

It turns out Brown and Tatum like and respect each other, too.

Brown’s acceptance speech after he won the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP indicated both. Again.

“It was a full team effort,” Brown told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after Boston’s title-clinching win. “I share this with my brothers, and my partner in crime, Jayson Tatum. He was with me the whole way. So we share this (expletive) together.”

Story continues below advertisement

“I share this with my partner in crime, Jayson Tatum.”

Jaylen Brown during NBA Finals MVP acceptance speech

It was a perfectly authentic response after talking heads — Kendrick Perkins, Stephen A. Smith, etc. etc. etc. — tried to pin the two against each other for years. Those talking heads and radio personalities consistently said Brown and Tatum couldn’t play together, couldn’t win together and, in some cases, did not enjoy each other.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Those storylines were put to rest after the pair led the historic organization to its long-awaited Banner 18. Green Teamers who never lost belief in Brown and Tatum knew it was a long time coming.

Story continues below advertisement

When meeting with reporters after Boston’s 106-88 victory, Brown acknowledged the NBA Finals MVP could have been awarded to Tatum. Brown praised Tatum’s selflessness and attitude and shared his appreciation for how the First Team All-NBA honoree approached the NBA Finals.

Brown explained why it was important to him to shout out Tatum during his own acceptance speech.

“We’ve been through a lot, the losses, the expectations,” Brown told reporters, per ASAP Sports. “The media have said all different types of things: We can’t play together, we are never going to win.

“We heard it all. But we just blocked it out, and we just kept going. I trusted him. He trusted me. And we did it together,” Brown continued. “To get to this point and share that experience with JT is just awesome, you know what I mean? It’s amazing, and it feels great.”

Story continues below advertisement

More Celtics

Tatum, who said prior to Game 5 he wouldn’t care if he was not named NBA Finals MVP, certainly made a run at the award himself. Tatum scored 31 points with 12 assists in the closeout game, and received four votes of the 11 MVP votes.

When Brown’s name was called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, though, an enthusiastic Tatum smiled ear to ear.

“First of all, congrats to him. Well-deserved,” Tatum told reporters, per ASAP Sports. “Extremely happy for him. This is a hell of an accomplishment.

“The main goal for us was to win a championship. We weren’t — we didn’t care who got Finals MVP. I know that I need him through this journey and he needs me. So, you know, it was great to see him have that moment and share that moment with him. I’m extremely happy for him. Well-deserved. That was big-time. He earned that.”

Story continues below advertisement

Celtics teammate Jrue Holiday, who saw the Brown-Tatum connection from afar before he joined the Green, said it’s been great to watch the two build each other up this season.

“They get scrutinized so much and they get so much pressure put on them for not winning or making it to the Eastern Conference Finals eight years in a row, or even making it to the Finals and not getting over that hump,” Holiday told reporters, per ASAP Sports. “But I feel like people finally see the relationship that they have.

“They see that from the beginning, they have always done it together. They have never compared against each other. They have always been joyful and happy for each other. So it’s been great to experience on this side, and to be on this side and get this win, hopefully it’s a burden off of their shoulders. But another burden is doing it again.”

With Brown and Tatum leading the way in 2024-25, the Celtics once again are the favorites to claim the Larry O’Brien Trophy. And it’s fair to say Brown would love if the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award is something he and Tatum have in common down the line.

Story continues below advertisement

Featured image via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images