Jason Kidd calls Jaylen Brown Bostons “best player,” but Celtics dont take bait ahead of NBA Finals Game 2

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BOSTON – Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are used to people analyzing their relationship and roles on the Celtics. So neither seemed too fazed by Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd’s comments the day before Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Kidd offered a compliment of Brown, who was dominant on both sides of the ball in Boston’s blowout Game 1 win on Thursday.

“Well Jaylen’s their best player,” Kidd said on Saturday. “Just looking at what he does defensively, he picked up Luka [Dončić] full court, got to the free throw line, he did everything. That’s what your best player does. He plays both sides, defense and offense, at a high rate. He’s been doing that the whole playoffs. When you talk about the Eastern Conference MVP, it seems like he’s continuing to pick up where he left off.”

Jaylen Brown on Jason Kidd’s comments

The comment raised some eyebrows in the basketball universe – as well as the Celtics’ locker room – considering Tatum has been named first-team All-NBA for the last three seasons. In addition, the Mavericks spent much of Game 1 sending multiple defenders at Tatum.

“J. Kidd, man. I see what he’s doing. I see what he’s doing,” veteran Al Horford said with a laugh when asked about the comments.

Brown scored a team-high 22 points in Game 1, while Tatum notched 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win.

“I have no reaction. I don’t know. I think it’s a team game. We’re trying to focus on that and everybody has their own opinions,” Brown said about the compliment from Kidd.

Jayson Tatum responds

Tatum responded to Kidd as well, noting it isn’t the first time someone has tried to pit the duo against each other.

“No reaction. This is a team sport. We understand that. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have JB on our team,” Tatum told reporters. “We can say that for a lot of guys. We all played a part in getting to where we’re at. We understand that people try to drive a wedge in between us. I guess it’s a smart thing to do, or to try to do. But we’ve been in this position for many years of guys trying to divide us and say one of us should be traded, or one is better than the other. So it’s not our first time at the rodeo.”