Brown, Tatum Look Forward to Sharing All-Star Experience
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are no longer just a rising young tandem. As of now, they’re officially an All-Star tandem.
The NBA announced Tuesday evening that both Celtics wings were voted in by the league’s head coaches as All-Star reserves, giving Brown his first appearance and Tatum his second straight nod.
At age 22, Tatum is the youngest player in franchise history to receive multiple All-Star bids. Though he has played far beyond his years this season, averaging career-highs in points (26.1 PPG) rebounds (7.1 RPG), and assists (4.6 APG), while shooting 44.8 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from 3-point range, and 86.7 percent from the free-throw line.
“It’s an honor,” Tatum said of the recognition late Tuesday night. “Obviously I don’t take that for granted. Just thankful, earning the respect of your peers, people you play against, the coaches that coach against you night-in and night-out.”
Brown also earned the respect of his peers after being a borderline All-Star last season. In 29 games this season, he has averaged career-high marks of 25.7 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 1.2 SPG, to go along with 5.6 RPG. He’s also shooting career-best clips from the field (50.1 percent), 3-point range (40.2 percent), and the free-throw line (77.1 percent).
For Brown, this All-Star nod is extra special, and not just because it’s his first.
“It’s down in Atlanta, my hometown, my home city, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said of the March 7 exhibition. “It should be fun.”
With Brown being 24 years old, he and Tatum are just the second pair of Celtics teammates to both receive All-Star honors before reaching the age of 25, joining Bob Cousy and Ed Macauley, who accomplished the feat in 1953. They are also the only set of teammates in the entire league who are averaging at least 25 points, five rebounds, and three assists per game.
Both Brown and Tatum lived up to their selections Tuesday night as they poured in 29 and 28 points, respectively during a matchup in Dallas. But despite their efforts, the Mavericks came away with a 110-107 win after fellow All-Star Luka Doncic hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Jays a bittersweet ending to their night.
"Obviously, it's an honor to be an All-Star but we're used to winning games and being at the top of the East,” Tatum said after the C’s dropped below .500 at 15-16. “I think that's what my focus is, just trying to figure out what's next for the team.”
That’s Brown’s only focus, as well. Rather than bask in the glory of his All-Star nod, he instead set his sights on a handful of team-oriented goals that he hopes to accomplish before the break.
"Just keep building on defense, string some wins together, win as many games as we can before the All-Star break, get back above .500, and just keep playing good basketball,” Brown listed off. “It's a long season. We've still got 41 games left to play, so, I’m looking forward to it each and every day."
If they can get through this stretch with a handful of wins, it should make their All-Star experience all the more enjoyable. It’s a unique opportunity that Brown and Tatum get to share this honor together, and it is 100 percent deserved in both of their cases.