The Boston Celtics of Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown prepare to play the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors of Steve Curry (game one Thursday night through Friday). At stake, presenting the historic eighteenth coronation of the Massachusetts franchise.
“They said we can’t play together…” Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still laughing about it, and here they are facing their destiny: proving worthy descendants of a long streak of champions with Boston, starting Thursday in the final against Golden State.
‘They can’t coexist’. Former hub Kendrick Perkins, who was part of the Celtics’ 17th and final podium finish in 2008, was assertive on Jan. 7, the day after Massachusetts’ New York blunder, having led by 25 points against the Knicks.
He wasn’t the only one calling for the departure of one of the two young stars, in order to restart the Green Machine that was stuck in eleventh place in the East. But Brad Stevens, the head of basketball operations who left his coaching chair for Ime Udoka this season, knew the two players, whom he coached for so long, well enough not to give up.
“They are by far the least of my concerns.”He said then, while working on the wise recruitment of Derek White (Tottenham Hotspur) opposite Dennis Schroeder. And nearly six months later, his administration has proven him right.
However, to say there is no recurring problem with the cohabitation between Brown (25) and Tatum (24), the solo talents willing in the five seasons they have played together, would be a mistake.
Collusion as a strong asset
Point guard Marcus Smart, the third strongman in C, also complained about it at the height of the crisis: “All the teams know we’re going to try to go through Jason and Jalen in attack, so they’ve studied ways to stop them. But these two don’t want to pass the ball. It’s something they have to learn. “.
The questioning paid off, because in the space of about six months, Boston had changed basketball and turned almost everything on its way to finishing second in the East.
“All this helped us, prompted us to find a solution and not run away from our responsibilities. We had to trust each other and get better. Instead of separating, we got closer.”recapitulated Tatum on Sunday, after the Miami elimination.
This Decisive Heat’s seventh game symbolizes the Celtics’ collective momentum, with “Jay Jay” scoring 24 points each, and Smart, who claimed assists, added 20 “pawns.” Between them, they focused 75% of the team’s goals, to finally reach the final step of the championship, after two failures in the Eastern Conference Final, in 2018 against Cleveland, and in 2020 against Miami.
Dedication at your fingertips
“These setbacks helped us progress. We learned, and once we found ourselves in the same situation, we knew how to respond differently.Tatum, the wingman with a gentle shot, who wore on his arm a pinned No. 24 armband for Kobe Bryant, his idol, from whom he wanted to draw inspiration for this crucial No. 7 match.
Celtic fan of the former Lakers player? Sacrilege, as the rivalry is colossal between the two enemy clubs! Unless it’s for a good cause like reclaiming a record 18th league title and restoring the lead over Los Angeles, which joined Boston at the top of the charts with their 17th crown in 2020.
Together, the “Jay-Jays” can write their own story in green letters, as did illustrious veterans, Bob Cosey, Bill Russell, John Havlichk, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and other Paul Pierce…
None of these legends made it to the top on their own, and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Cosey lamented that after many years of “doing nothing more” to support Russell in his fight against racism, Bird and McHale weren’t far from chemistry, but they were all working toward the same end goal on Earth.
“Why wait? The talent is there, the work ethic is there, and there is a chance for everyone to be better leaders. Go ahead, grab it”Odoka told them indirectly when he took office last summer.