The Boston Celtics have won more regular season and playoff games than most NBA teams since Jaylen Brown (2016) and Jayson Tatum (2017) entered the league. But one accomplishment has still eluded them so far: Banner 18.
The Celtics have reached the Eastern Conference Finals in four of the six seasons Brown and Tatum have played together, including three of the last four years. They also reached the NBA Finals in 2022. After falling behind 0-3 in the conference finals to the Miami Heat back in May, the Celtics forced a Game 7 but couldn't pull off a historic series comeback.
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These setbacks will provide the Celtics with all the motivation they could possibly need to finish the job next season. That's how Jaylen Brown, who signed a five-year supermax contract extension worth $304 million earlier this week, views the situation.
"There's plenty of motivation in losing and falling short. All the motivation in the world to get back and be better," Brown told NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
"I know I can be better than last year, even though I was Second-Team All-NBA or whatever the accolade was. I still think you haven't seen me play my best basketball or reach my peak yet, so I'm excited. Staying healthy is a big part of that, putting together a great system with my teammates is key in that, working with Joe (Mazzulla) and making a good style of play and having fun with it."
Brown and Tatum winning a championship together in Boston would be extra special given all the obstacles they've had to overcome together in their six seasons as teammates.
"It would mean the world," Brown told Forsberg. "Why? Because of all the work, heartbreak and losses we've (shared) together.
"You don't want to win with new people. You want to win with the people that was with you from Day 1. When I was sitting at the table with you, when you were skinny, when you didn't have no food and were hungry, those are the people you want to, when you finally make it in life, you want to celebrate with."
Watch the entire exclusive interview with Brown in the video below: