Jaylen Brown addresses Boston Celtics issue Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson caused

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Jaylen Brown recently addressed the battle with complacency the Boston Celtics are facing during All-Star week, calling it a tough fight and claiming that the team that loses focus first in the playoffs is the one that wilts.

“It’s tough," Brown said (h/t NESN). "It’s a fight. It’s a mentality to be able to focus for long durations of time. I think that’s the challenge and in sports to have that ultimate focus because when you get deeper into the playoffs … the team whoever’s focus breaks first is going to be the team that loses.”

Brown believes the Celtics have been able to keep that focus this year; a good explanation for why Boston has a four-game lead over the next best team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, through the All-Star break.

“I think we’ve been doing a good job this year," Brown prefaced before saying, "It’s been the best year in terms of focus on mentality and focus that we’ve had so far. So, I’m feeling strong and confident about our team heading into the playoffs.”

Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson helped install complacent culture in Boston Celtics locker room

As Locked On Celtics podcast host John Karalis relayed, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson "poisoned" Jayson Tatum's mentality; taking away the focus of the team's 1/1A counterpart to Brown.

“I keep going back to Kyrie (Irving) and Tristan Thompson,” Karalis prefaced before saying, “And I swear I feel like they poisoned Tatum’s brain. I feel like those guys, at the beginning, Tatum learned from Kyrie, that the regular season doesn’t matter. You’ve learned from Tristan Thompson that the regular season doesn’t matter. And I just don’t think he puts the same value (on the regular season). I really, I honestly believe that.”

Irving (2017-2019) and Thompson's (2020-21) years in Boston are the years Celtics fans find it hardest to look back on fondly. While the Cs were a contender in Irving's first year, the team's playoff run happened with Irving on the shelf. All told, Irving and Thompson weren't total negatives from an on-court perspective, but bringing in a championship complacency to a young locker room that hadn't reached those heights yet was as damaging of a behavior as possible.