C's fans will love this Tatum quote about playing with Jaylen originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Jayson Tatum is about to become the Boston Celtics' highest-paid player after agreeing to a five-year, $195 million maximum contract extension.
Might Tatum's deal make Jaylen Brown envious or vindictive? After all, the contract extension Brown signed last October was *only* for four years and $115 million.
The short answer is "no" -- because the pair of No. 3 overall picks don't have that kind of relationship.
Take it from Tatum himself: The Celtics All-Star shared some great insight into his dynamic with Brown in an interview with NBA reporter Michael Pina, who recently wrote a feature on Brown for GQ.
it didn’t make the story, but with jayson tatum’s extension official, this is what he told me a few weeks back when i asked why he and jaylen work so well together: https://t.co/hpfQldx8dD pic.twitter.com/XzBlw3rkoZ
— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) November 22, 2020
"With JB, the one thing about us is we always push each other," Tatum told Pina. "And we understand that we need each other and we're not trying to get in the way or hold each other back. We're trying to lift each other up because there's room for both of us to shine."
Those are wise words from the 22-year-old Tatum, who likely learned this lesson from experience. Brown and Tatum were thrust into the playoff spotlight in 2018 (their first and second seasons, respectively) after Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward went down with injuries and both performed well as the C's reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The talented duo had to take a backseat to Irving and Hayward during a trying 2018-19 campaign but blossomed this past season with Kemba Walker as their point guard, both averaging career highs across the board as they established themselves as Boston's top two players.
Tatum and Brown will continue to be the faces of the franchise during this season and beyond, so Celtics fans should be very encouraged by how Tatum views his teammate.
The C's still have roster holes they need to address this offseason, but if Tatum and Brown are working in concert, the floor of this Boston team is very high.