Boston Celtics

Report details Tatum's selfless gesture for Brown in All-Star Game

The two Celtics stars appear legitimately committed to each other's success.

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It's one thing for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to say the right things about their relationship. It's another to put those words into action.

The 2024 NBA All-Star Game provided an example of Tatum and Brown's bond, and how much the Boston Celtics' stars want to see each other succeed. On the latest episode of The Ringer's Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons relayed an anecdote he heard from an NBA executive about Tatum putting his own ambitions to the side so that his Celtics teammate could make a run at the game's MVP award.

"At the All-Star Game, when everyone was going for MVP ... the East was up 20, so (Damian Lillard) was in there and (Tyrese) Haliburton and Jaylen Brown were going for it," Simmons said. "And Tatum went to (East head coach) Doc Rivers and said, 'Give Jaylen my minutes. I want to see him win MVP.'"

Rivers obliged, and Brown used the extra minutes to finish with 36 points on 15 of 23 shooting with six 3-pointers over 22 minutes played, the most among all East reserves.

While Lillard finished with 39 points to edge Brown and Haliburton for MVP, it's still encouraging to see Tatum -- who won All-Star Game MVP in 2023 -- set his Celtics teammate up for success at the expense of his own.

Tatum and Brown have come along way over their six-plus seasons together in Boston. The All-Stars aren't necessarily inseparable friends -- that label may apply to Brown and new teammate Kristaps Porzingis -- but have developed a strong relationship built on mutual respect and a genuine desire to see each other succeed.

“We need each other,” Tatum said of Brown back in October. “We can have enough individual success, making all-NBA and All-Stars and getting contracts, but ultimately we know what is going to matter: if we can hang a championship banner. It’s a long season, playoffs is long, and we understand I won’t be able to win a championship without him and he won’t be able to do it without me.

"Knowing we have to get the best out of each other, pushing each other, and be able to excel individually together. We have to be the best version of ourselves together, for us and for the team, and everybody understands that.”

Tatum and Brown taking the reins as leaders in Boston is a big reason why the Celtics own the NBA's best record by a wide margin, and their relationship will play a key role in the team's push for Banner 18.

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