Ty Anderson

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla blasts media coverage of Brown-Tatum duo

If anybody in Boston is going to reignite the region's rivalry with ESPN, it's Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla. Even if he's doing so without naming the four-letter network. With the Celtics back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2022, the talk hasn't been about how the Celtics' status as the best team in the NBA during the regular season has carried on into the postseason. It's instead been about the easy path the Celtics have traveled to get to this point thanks to injuries elsewhere. Or how they're simply not as good as the results would tell you. Some pundits have even gone back to their 'old reliable' of anti-Celtics talking points: the always-alleged-but-never-proven-in-any-respect strife between C's stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The newest angle on that take came to the table following Boston's four-game sweep of Indiana, with some noticing that Tatum didn't look happy for Brown after Brown won East Finals MVP. https://twitter.com/Big_Maine100/status/1795831011668041995 A take that was clowned on by Celtics players, this take also seemed to be the breaking point for Mazzulla, who decided to peel back the curtain on the Brown-Tatum dynamic on Friday. "That's a really good question and I'm kind of praying about how deep I really wanna get into that because the whole thing about that really pisses me off and I think it's unfair to both of them," Mazzulla, whose team will play the Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals, said of the Brown-Tatum 'tension' that's always talked about by national types. "I think it's stupid that people have to use those two guys' names and use information that they don't know to create clickbait so that they can stay relevant." https://twitter.com/NBCSCeltics/status/1796588834248945973 In fact, Mazzulla doesn't even know why the Brown-Tatum duo has to be compared like it's two guys who are the exact same, which is something that seemingly only happens with Boston's one-two. "It's very unfair that [Brown and Tatum] get compared," Mazzulla said. "They're two completely different people. They're two completely different players. They're great teammates. They love each other and they go about winning and they go about their process in different ways. So why they have to always be lumped together is unfair and I think people just use it for their own relativity. "At the end of the day, [with] those two guys, their relationship is their relationship. They love each other, they push each other every single day in practice, they communicate with each other. But they go about winning differently. They're different. You see other duos around the league that don't have to go through that. And it's because of the platform they have. It's because they've been so successful their entire careers. They've been able to longstand success at a high, high level, so people need them in order to stay relevant." The spotlight on the relationship between Brown and Tatum will only get brighter as the Celtics try to win their first championship since 2008, and especially after the duo came up short in their 2022 dance with Steph Curry's Golden State Warriors. But when it comes to the discussion on both players and where they fit in Boston, Mazzulla simply wants the discussion to operate with actual information. "They should not talk on speculation," Mazzulla said of the coverage of Tatum and Brown. "They should get to know them as people before they talk about that stuff. They're two of the greatest teammates and players you could have and it's been an honor to coach both of them. Doesn't mean they have to be the same. It's bullshit. I love both of them and they deserve better."