All You Need to Know About the Relationship Between Brad Stevens and Jayson Tatum

Published 07/05/2021, 12:37 PM EDT
Feb 2, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) congratulates guard Jaylen Brown (7) after a dunk during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The curtains came down on the Celtics season following a 109-123 loss to Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Jayson Tatum was the lone warrior in the series, as the Nets juggernaut proved too much. And while the Celtics season ended in early June, the franchise kept making the headlines, as long-term Celtic Danny Ainge stepped down as president. Who better to replace him than head coach Brad Stevens?

With Stevens at the helm, and the Tatum-Brown duo leading Boston ahead, the future doesn’t look too grim for the team, following a season where injury tarnished their playoff aspirations. The Celtics rode the wave winning 8 of 9 games in April. However, they only managed to lock the 7th seed in the East with a 36-36 record.

May 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) looks to pass around Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) during the second half of game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Stevens will look to emulate the 2008 Danny Ainge model, as he aims to put together a championship roster. As the president, he will look to put the franchise back on the map, considering the fact that they last won the title in 2008 with pieces like Garnett, Pierce, and Allen at the forefront.


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The Jayson Tatum-Brad Stevens relationship

The first step in the rebuild process for Stevens will be to strengthen his connection with franchise lead stars Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum and Stevens go all the way back to the former’s rookie season.

Back then, head coach Stevens made the call to start rookie Tatum from opening night. From then on, their relationship has grown leaps and bounds.

Tatum took over as the face of the franchise within his first 2 years, as the Celtics restructured their roster. They replaced veterans Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al-Horford with Kemba Walker and other key role pieces.

League experts have also hailed the move as a masterstroke, given the intangibles in the equation. The unspoken chemistry between the two will continue to grow as the seasons unfold, resembling that of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

With Tatum agreeing to a 5-year 195-million $ deal with the franchise, the first-time executive in Brad Stevens will look to ensure his relationship with the star keeps the latter locked up for the near future. The Celtics have already begun making moves that will probably bolster their playoff push in coming seasons.

Boston recently traded Kemba Walker and 1st round picks in 2021 and 2025 for an aging veteran in Al Horford.

What’s next for the men in green?

The Boston Celtics, after making the ECF last season, succumbed to a first-round exit, much like their arch-rivals in L.A. Coincidentally, the season for both teams was marred because of injury. Jaylen Brown suffered a season-ending injury as he tore the ligament in his left wrist.

With Walker, Tristan Thompson, and Marcus Smart also missing games, the Celtics could never weave the chemistry required for making a deep playoff run.


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May 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) attempts a layup against Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first half of game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With the new president of operations at the forefront, will the league see a change in Boston’s off-season tactics? Or will the apprentice follow the master in the least effective measures that have left Boston so close, yet so far on many an occasion!

With Boston and L.A. now tied for most NBA titles, will the Celtics put it all on the line to regain the lead in the championship race? Surely, that will be on Stevens’ mind, as he looks to tackle his priority of hiring a replacement for the head coaching role!


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Nikhil Naik

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