NBA

Dallas coach Jason Kidd doesn’t believe Jayson Tatum is Celtics’ best player

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After Dallas‘ Game 1 loss against Boston, Jason Kidd was convinced that Jayson Tatum is not his rival’s best player. Even though some believe he was trying to stir up some trouble inside the Celtics‘ locker room, he decided to tell the press that he believes Jaylen Brown is their top star. 

A short time later, when Brown and Tatum were separately attending the media ahead of the second clash of this best-of-seven series, they were asked about it. However, both of them made it clear that they weren’t interested in opening the door to any mind games from the Mavericks tactician.

“I don’t have no reaction,” JB said, while his co-star added: “This is a team sport. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have JB on our team, and we can say that for a lot of guys, right. We have all played a part in getting to where we’re at, and we understand that people try to drive a wedge between us. I guess it’s a smart thing to do or try to do.”

According to the Boston forward, opponents have been trying to get in between them for a long time now. “We’ve been in this position for many years of guys trying to divide us and say that one of us should be traded or one is better than the other. So it’s not our first time at the rodeo,” Jayson said.

Despite not knowing this for a fact, the press tried to pin Kidd’s remarks as an effort to stir up some drama after the Celtics beat his team by 18 points last Thursday. “Well, Jaylen is their best player,” he expressed this weekend with a smile.

“Just looking at what he does defensively,” Jason added on Saturday’s press conference. “He picked up Luka full court. He got to the free throw line. He did everything, and that’s what your best player does.”

The Dallas coach then explained why he thinks this way. “Just understanding he plays both sides, defense and offense, at a high rate,” he shared. “And he’s been doing that the whole playoffs. I mean, when you talk about the Eastern Conference MVP, and it seems like he has continued to pick up where he left off.”

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla insists on focusing on the game, and not cave into remarks made by the press or their rival team

Despite the media’s efforts to try and find controversy in Kidd’s comments, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla didn’t show any intention of feeding the drama and insisted that Boston’s goal is to carry that performance forward into Game 2.

“We just need to focus on the truth,” he said on Saturday. “At the end of the day, nobody knows because they are not in the locker room. And so I think as long as we focus on the truth, we focus on the things that we talk about every day, we focus on the relationships that we build with each other, we focus on just that stuff.”

The same went for his pupils, who did not cave into the press’ objective of making a story out of their rival head coach’s remarks. Neither Tatum nor Brown acknowledged that Kidd was trying something fishy.

“I’m not sure,” Jaylen assured. “But we’ve been just extremely focused on what our roles and our jobs are. We have all had to sacrifice. Jayson has had to do that at the highest of levels, right, and I respect him and tip his cap for it.”