Tatum and Brown talk concerning the criticism they faced before the NBA Finals


While answering questions on the rostrum at NBA Finals Media Day, Jayson Tatum was asked concerning the criticism he faced during Boston's playoff run.

“You've probably been the most scrutinized player this postseason,” Gary Washburn told Tatum.

“I think so,” Tatum said with a smile.

A superstar like Tatum have to be scrutinized critically, especially as the very best player on the Celtics team that already has 64 wins and is now seeking to win a title.

But Tatum and a few of his teammates faced harsh criticism throughout the postseason, especially from national media.

In the last two weeks alone, Tatum has heard Kendrick Perkins say Jaylen Brown is “the best player on the Celtics,” and Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd has said he would select any NBA star aside from Devin Booker and Anthony Davis over Tatum within the fourth quarter of a vital game.

Even after each Tatum and Brown led Boston to the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons following a sweep of the Pacers, several comments from ESPN personalities prompted former Celtics player Leon Powe and current forward Oshae Brissett to defend them on social media.

One notable claim was that a smiling Tatum was not joyful for Brown after the latter was awarded the “ECF MVP” award for his game against the Pacers.

Given all of the vitriol that has been thrown at him in recent weeks, Tatum was asked how much this discussion bothers him, especially in terms of things that transcend mistakes and omissions on the sector.

“I think it's more than me – it's my mother, my grandmother, my family and my friends,” Tatum said. “They are more affected by this than I am. I understand if [Tatum’s son] Deuce would make it to the NBA, people would talk about him every day, and as a father, I wouldn't be able to separate the superstar from the child.

“My mom could have taken it a bit of harder than I did. But I don't take it personally, right? It was just an extended break without NBA basketball, in order that they needed to overanalyze every little thing and give you something to discuss. Did it get boring? Yeah. But you already know, it's the Finals. They wouldn't discuss me if I wasn't good, so… Try to take something positive out of it and alter the channel.”

Brown has been open about his image and possible insults he has faced this postseason, particularly his non-selection to the All-NBA and All-Defense teams this season.

Brown has maintained this attitude and cautious attitude towards his reputation for years.

“You get to some extent where you've been under scrutiny for portion of your profession long enough that it becomes normal,” Brown said. “Then it just rolls off you. At least that's what I can say for myself. I don't know if Jayson feels the identical way.”

“It's been that way my whole profession, in a way. I got booed after I got drafted, after which I got told I used to be overpaid, after which I got told I used to be overpaid. It's been that way my whole profession. It just becomes one other headline.”

Tatum and Brown are far from the first NBA stars to come under scrutiny during their careers – and they won’t be the last.

But their teammate Jrue Holiday is convinced that neither Tatum nor Brown allowed these comments to hinder their development into two of the best players in the NBA.

“I mean, everyone seems to be under scrutiny, right? When I used to be in Milwaukee, it was about Giannis [Antetokounmpo] not getting enough help. … The pressures JB and JT are under are different,” Holiday said.

“I've told them this before, but it surely's really impressive how they conduct themselves, how they continue to be skilled, how they still come to each game and do what they do. I find it extremely impressive how they do it.”

image credit : www.boston.com