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Jaylen Brown’s Finals MVP provides validation for him and Jayson Tatum

Celtics win NBA Finals in dominant fashion
Dan Patrick reacts to the Boston Celtics blowing out the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 to win the NBA Finals, breaking down how Brad Stevens and Co. were able to construct such a strong roster this season.

BOSTON — When Jaylen Brown was handed the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy by Adam Silver, one of the first things he did was turn to Jayson Tatum and say, “We did it.”

For Tatum and Brown, it is “we.” They have been linked for seven years, their fortunes rising and falling together. They succeeded together, failed together, withstood criticism and trade rumors together, and now will forever be linked together in Celtics lore as champions.

While Brown deservedly won the Finals MVP award, it was really a validation for the two Jays together, not just their talent but their endurance.

“We’ve been through a lot, we’ve been playing together for seven years now,” Brown said. “We’ve been through a lot, the losses, the expectations. The media have said all different types of things: We can’t play together, we are never going to win. We heard it all. But we just blocked it out, and we just kept going. I trusted him. He trusted me. And we did it together.”

Brown and Tatum have moved past any jealousy about who gets what accolade, how much respect one gets vs. the other, or who is criticizing them. They have ignored the calls to break them up and on Monday night silenced all the critics who said they couldn’t win together.

“The main goal for us was to win a championship,” Tatum said. “We weren’t… we didn’t care who got Finals MVP. I know that I need him through this journey and he needs me.

“So, you know, it was great to see him have that moment and share that moment with him. I’m extremely happy for him. Well-deserved. That was big-time. He earned that.”

Brown did earn that.

In these Finals he averaged 20.8 points per game with 5.4 rebounds and 5 assists, shooting 44% from the floor — all while having the primary defensive assignment on Luka Doncic.

Brown received seven of the 11 votes from media members for Finals MVP. The other four votes went to Tatum.

To a man, the other Celtics talked about how it was Brown and Tatum — together — who were the leaders on this team. These are their Celtics.

“I’m so proud of Jaylen, and I’m so proud of Jayson. Those two guys continue to take steps forward,” Al Horford said. “People all year criticizing them, all that expectation, all the pressure.

“They did it. And they’ve done it at a young age. They led our group. I’m just very proud of those guys and to put everything aside and focus on winning.”

Winning that they did together.