The Boston Celtics reportedly have no plans to split up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both Tatum and Brown appear on board with that strategy.
Brown defended his connection with Tatum over the weekend, insisting the duo can coexist despite the Celtics' struggles over the past season and a half with the two All-Stars as their franchise cornerstones.
After Monday's overtime win over the Indiana Pacers, it was Tatum's turn to promote their relationship, relaying a recent conversation he had with Brown confirming that they're on the same page.
"Obviously we live in a world where we're on our phones and the TV and we see all the things about 'we can't play together' and everybody in the media saying that one of us gotta go," Tatum said, as seen in the video above. "We just had a talk about how we both want to be here, we both want to figure it out."
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Tatum then pointed out that 25-year-old All-Stars averaging 24.1 points per game aren't easy to find.
"It's not many players in the league like JB," Tatum said. "The grass ain't always greener. We've had some great stretches, and I think this year hasn't been what we've expected, but I think in the long run it will be good for us. We gotta figure some things out, but I think the most important thing is we both want it extremely bad. We want to try to figure it out together.
"So for us just to be on the same page is extremely important. We got each other's back and we're going to give it all we got to figure this out, regardless of what people say."
The results certainly haven't been there this season: Boston sits 10th in the Eastern Conference at 20-21 and is one of the NBA's worst fourth-quarter teams. (The C's have lost four games this season in which they've led by at least 15 points.) But perhaps this rough patch will make Tatum and Brown stronger, and perhaps a few roster tweaks at the NBA trade deadline will help them elevate the Celtics to a playoff contender.
Until then, they'll continue to answer to critics like former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins, who had a back-and-forth with Tatum on Twitter after Saturday's win over the New York Knicks.
Tatum didn't seem to have an issue with Perkins after both sides said their part, though.
"I don’t have a problem with Perk," Tatum said. "We ain’t got no beef toward each other or nothing like that.
"We don’t really know each other. I seen what he said. He said my name and I just responded. That’s all it was. It was no big deal; it’s something to move past."