After coming within two wins of a championship last June, both Tatum and Brown have taken their respective games to an even higher level this season. Tatum is on pace to become the first Celtics player ever to average 30-plus points per game and likely will finish top five in league MVP voting.
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Brown is averaging career highs with 26.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while shooting a career-best 49.3 percent from the floor. He also could make one of the three All-NBA teams for the first time.
Brown did an interview with Stadium's Shams Charania that touched on several different subjects. One of them was how Brown and Tatum have enjoyed so much success together in Boston.
"I think just, No. 1, loving this game. I think we both love this game tremendously and want to continue to improve," Brown told Charania. "We compete, we push each other, we learn from each other. And I think a lot of our relationship has been built off of that dynamic of respect. That's the beautiful part of it. JT, I get to see him come into work every single day and see him prepare for winning. He gets to see me come in every day and prepare what I'm working on and get better each year and in the offseason. I've seen him get better each year and offseason. I've seen him grow as a man. He's seen me grow as a man.
"I get why, in a sense, people always try to break up duos or people like that because so far, we have been incredibly successful. And hopefully we can be even more (successful). The only thing that would put a ribbon on top would be getting a championship."
Brown said he's happy to see Tatum have success, and that Tatum feels the same way.
"Absolutely. There's a phrase that I say, 'Want for your brother what you want for yourself.' That's the only way I understand how to operate," Brown explained. "That's to want for the people around me what I want for myself. By Jayson being the ultimate version of him doesn't stop me from being the ultimate version of myself.
"Him scoring 50 points and being All-Star MVP and all of that -- celebrating him getting a gold medal. You see pictures of me celebrating his gold medal with him. That brings genuine joy for me. I appreciate him sharing those moments. At this point, we’re part of each other’s destiny."
Losing in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors last season continues to fuel Brown and the Celtics at pretty much every moment.
"Every single day, every week, every month," Brown said. "I think that's always the ultimate goal, not just for the organization but the fanbase, etc. It's something that is the highest honor and something extremely hard to do no matter what the year or timeframe. It'd be great to be engraved in history with some of the greats, but you gotta earn it, you gotta deserve it, and it has to be your time. Last year wasn't our time. Hopefully this year is."