Kemba Walker's message for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown is paying dividends for Celtics

Kemba's message for Tatum, Brown is paying dividends for Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have blossomed into one of the NBA's best duos on a championship contender. But they didn't get here without a little help.

Tatum and Brown have endured plenty of adversity over their five-plus seasons as Boston Celtics teammates, most notably speculation that they couldn't coexist, which only heightened after the team suffered a first-round exit in the 2021 postseason.

Fortunately for the Jays, they've benefited from the advice of veteran leaders like Kemba Walker, who spent two seasons in Boston from 2019 to 2021.

Celtics Talk: Jayson Tatum's pathway to an MVP award, plus a chat with Grant Williams | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Joining ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on "The Woj Pod" Friday, Walker detailed the message he shared with Tatum and Brown as the two tried to build their relationship in Boston.

"They've always seen the talks and people saying they can't play together. But I always just tried to tell them, 'Just block that out,'" Walker told Wojnarowski. "I always told them, 'This organization ain't going nowhere without you two. Literally.'

"My main thing to those guys was that they had to love each other. Those two guys, Jayson and Jaylen -- you two guys have to come together as much as you can and lead this team to the promised land. They can't go anywhere without those two guys. Those two guys are so special, and they've shown it."

That was an important message for Tatum and Brown to hear. While both are immensely talented players, it took them a while to develop the kind of chemistry needed to win at the NBA's highest level. As the NBA world debated whether the Celtics should split up the Jays and trade for a veteran star, Walker assured them that the team's future rested on their shoulders.

Forsberg: After bumpy start, Smart is finding his groove

Tatum and Brown proved Walker right last season, blossoming into quality playmakers who made themselves and their teammates better during Boston's run to the 2022 NBA Finals.

"I was really proud of those guys, because we've definitely had some great convos between the three of us. A lot," Walker added.

"They made it work, man. It was really, really cool to see those two guys in the championship last season."

The Celtics' loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals has only motivated Tatum and Brown further, to the point where both are solely focused on winning a championship over individual accolades.

If the Jays can bring Banner 18 to Boston, Walker deserves credit for helping guide them down the right path.