Celtics stars dribble around Mavericks coach Jason Kidd’s best player remarks

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Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd made a bold statement Saturday when he called Jaylen Brown the Boston Celtics’ best player, but his opponents weren’t buying into it.

Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, who were key to the Celtics’ Game 1 win over the Mavericks, believe Kidd was trying to put a wedge in between the team’s stars.

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Jason Kidd on the sideline

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd argues a call during the first game of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Tatum said he had “no reaction” to Kidd’s remarks but knew what he was trying to do.

“This is a team sport. We understand that. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have JB (Jaylen Brown) on our team.” Tatum said. “We could say that for a lot of guys. We all play a part to get to where we’re at. We understand that people try to drive a wedge in between us. It’s a smart thing to do, or try to do. 

“But we’ve been in this position for many years – guys trying to divide us, say that one of us should be traded, one’s better than the other. It’s not our first time at the rodeo.”

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics talk during NBA Finals Practice and Media Availability on June 8, 2024, at the TD Garden in Boston. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Horford said Kidd was “sneaky.”

“J-Kidd, man,” Horford said smiling. “I see what he’s doing. I see what he’s doing.”

Brown led Boston with 22 points in the team’s 107-89 victory on Thursday night in Game 1. But the team really got a boost from a returning Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis had 20 points in 21 minutes off of the bench. He was 8-for-13 from the field.

Tatum had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.

Al Horford and Jaylen Brown

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, left, celebrates with center Al Horford as the Celtics lead the Dallas Mavericks during Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Game 2 is set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

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