Jayson Tatum talks 'brother for life,' Boston Celtics' road trip after Hornets win

Boston Celtics v Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics v Charlotte Hornets / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

Jayson Tatum had plenty to say about his former Boston Celtics teammate, Grant Williams, after the Cs knocked off the latter's new team, the Charlotte Hornets, on the final game of their last road trip of the 2023-24 season -- mainly, that Williams is his "brother for life," and thus, is subject to all of the loving trash-talk that comes with.

“Grant always has some **** to say,” Tatum told reporters in Charlotte (h/t MassLive). “That’s my brother for life. I don’t talk trash at all but if it’s someone I’m close with or I know, like today with Grant, I like to have fun out there. It’s always good to see him, compete against him, so we just have fun out there.”

Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 25 points and was the only player with double-digit rebounds (10); adding four assists as well. Williams, on the other hand, had 23 points and seven rebounds in a start at the 5 for the Hornets.

And better yet, while the two excelled on the court, Tatum excelled in his friendship defending Williams from Mike Gorman's comments. Following the game, Williams expressed his gratitude to both Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

“You can’t control people’s opinions or what they say,” Williams said (h/t NESN). “It meant the world to me that Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) came to my defense without me asking. It was pretty cool seeing that. It showed the person that I am. I had a lot of great years in Boston. I thought I had a great relationship with Mike, and maybe I still do. Maybe he was commenting on what he thought was happening. I always loved watching him and Tommy (Heinsohn) when I first got there, and now him and Scal (Brian Scalabrine). I try my best to keep up with Scal.

“(Gorman’s comments) definitely caught me off-guard, but there are things they’re going to say and you can’t control. I try to treat people with grace and care. It kind of hurt but at the same time, you smile through it.”

Jayson Tatum talks Boston Celtics' final road trip

Tatum talked about the C's final road trip and the challenges the team is facing after having clinched the top overall postseason seed in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re in a unique position, best record in the league, got home court advantage, all those things, first place,” Tatum prefaced before saying, “I think for most of this road trip, we’ve been playing against teams that are fighting for a playoff position, play-in spots, except for the team tonight. I just understand that it’s not always going to go the way we expect it to, and how are we going to respond if we lose the first game in round one, right? How are we going to respond? Just going through, each game brought something different, and it was good for us to go through that.”

Confronting complacency is one of the hardest battles a team can face down the stretch of a regular season, but the Celtics faced it well in their final stint away from the TD Garden in 2023-24; minus the two losses in Atlanta to the Hawks.