Jason Kidd seemingly slights Jayson Tatum over Celtics’ best player

Was this strategy or honesty? 

Mind games or a blunt assessment? 

Jason Kidd certainly raised eyebrows on Saturday when he met the media in advance of Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals. 

When asked what makes facing Jaylen Brown so challenging, the Mavericks’ coach replied: “Well Jaylen is their best player.”

That would feel like a slight to Jayson Tatum, who most consider the Celtics’ best player. 

Brown is having a terrific postseason, averaging 24.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and shooting 36.6 percent from 3 point range.

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, he had 22 points, six rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists.

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots against Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) in the fourth quarter. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tatum, meanwhile, was held to 16 points in the lopsided victory, although he did have 11 rebounds and five assists.

Tatum, it should be noted, is averaging 25.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the playoffs. 

“He plays both sides, defense and offense, at a high rate and he’s been doing that the whole playoffs,” Kidd said of Brown. “You talk about Eastern Conference finals MVP, and he seems like he’s continued to pick up where he left off.”

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics reacts as he dunks the ball against Maxi Kleber. Getty Images
Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd argues a call during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. AP

Tatum does have the stronger resume as a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA first team selection.

He will be representing the USA in the Summer Olympics in Paris.

Brown has been chosen to three All-Star teams and made one All-NBA team as a second team selection.

Brown was an All-NBA snub this year, but he’s proving in the playoffs his value. Kidd certainly sees it.

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