Jayson Tatum debunks longstanding narrative about Boston Celtics co-star

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics
New York Knicks v Boston Celtics / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages

Jayson Tatum set the record straight about his relationship with his Boston Celtics superstar sidekick, Jaylen Brown.

During a recent sit-down interview with ESPN's Malika Andrews, Tatum pulled back the curtain and shut down any narratives about a rift between the two teammates.

"I think over the last few years we've taken strides of like, coexisting together, getting the best out of each other, while being the best version of ourselves and being the leaders that our team needs us to be; this is our time," Tatum told Andrews. "It's part of just getting older and maturing, right? Still relatively young guys, but understanding that this is our time and we need to take full advantage of it."

Good chemistry is vital for the Boston Celtics' title push

The best duos in NBA history haven't always had the best friendships off the floor. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal three-peated and had formed such a toxic relationship that it led to public beef and the latter getting shipped to Miami. Bob Cousy once told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn that he and Bill Russell never bonded during their playing careers. But times have changed, and the NBA now relies on team cohesion. 

Every year, a handful of the league's shining stars request a trade, often unhappy with the organization or a teammate. Top players have more sway than ever before, and their feelings influence hiring and roster construction. Just in the last few months, former MVP Giannis Antiekompo has allegedly been largely responsible for the hiring and subsequent firing of coach Adrian Griffin and for the acquisition of Damian Lillard.

There is such a worry that if a team has two perennial All-Stars, at least one will sour on the other over time. It's not a secret in the eyes of the Celtics fans and organization that Tatum is the top dog. That's led to speculation that Brown could be envious and want to be the main attraction of his own team. 

The problem is that all indications point to them being genuine friends. They speak highly of one another, exude positive body language, and play seamlessly together on the court. The Celtics also aren't the Hornets—there's enough room for more than one player on the marquee. The Jays seem to have one focus: hoising the Larry O'Brien trophy. For now, the media can put their narratives about a rift between the pair to bed and set their sights on the season's homestretch.