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Brown: 'No reaction' to Kidd's assertion he's best Celtic - ESPN

BOSTON — Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd attempted to throw a stick of dynamite into the middle of the Celtics locker room by declaring — twice — that Jaylen Brown is Boston's best player Saturday afternoon. But when Brown and Jayson Tatum were separately asked about it a short time later, ahead of Boston attempting to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals when Game 2 tips off Sunday night, both made it clear they had no interest in letting Kidd's mind games impact them.

«I don't have no reaction,» Brown said.

«This is a team sport,» Tatum said. «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.

»We've been in this position for many of 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."

It also isn't Kidd's. He has been a constant presence in the NBA since being drafted by the Mavericks 30 years ago, appearing in three Finals as a player — including winning the 2011 title with Dallas — and now in his first as an NBA head coach. But as he was asked a fairly innocuous question to end his news conference, about what makes guarding someone like Brown so challenging, Kidd took it as an opportunity to stir up some drama after the Celtics throttled his Mavericks in Game 1 Thursday night.

«Well, Jaylen is their best player,» Kidd said with a sly smile. «Just looking at what he does defensively. He picked up Luka full court. He got to the free throw line. He did everything, and that's what your best player does.