BOSTON — Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have every right to want the spotlight and the glory for themselves. Yet, they decided to share it, and that encapsulates why the C's are champions.

On Monday night, the Celtics prevailed 106-88 over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This was the Celtics' first championship in over 15 years, and it's the first title for both Tatum and Brown.

Boston's victorious run ended the same way it started: with Tatum and Brown leading the way. The former dropped 31 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, and two steals in what was undoubtedly his best outing of the series. The latter notched 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals, which was enough to earn him the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award.

When Brown was announced as the winner of the prestigious award, he looked a bit shocked. Once he got the microphone in his hands, he immediately praised his teammates, and Tatum in particular:

“I shared this with my brothers, and my partner in crime, Jayson Tatum.”

There was no sign of jealousy on Tatum's face (much to the dismay of Miami Heat lifer Udonis Haslem). There was only pride and elation. His smile exemplifies how badly the Celtics wanted to win for one another.

What's more, Tatum's grin reveals the selflessness of the 2023-24 Celtics and how they shared and sacrificed their way to the top of the league.

What Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had to say about Finals MVP

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates with guard Jaylen Brown (7) after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter in game five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

When Brown was asked about becoming the Finals MVP, he once again credited his fellow Celtics.

“I'm blessed and I'm grateful. This was a full team effort,” he said during his postgame press conference. “We had a great team. My teammates were great. They allowed me to lead us on both ends of the ball, and we just came out and performed on our home floor. It's just amazing.”

Last season, the C's had to watch the Heat celebrate the Eastern Conference championship on the parquet. This postseason, Boston protected its home court well, losing just twice at TD Garden over the course of four series and going 3-0 there in the Finals. The Green Team's growth in the clutch, in their own building, and in the playoffs in general ultimately resulted in Banner No. 18 finally being raised.

“You know, it could have gone to anybody,” Brown said of the Finals MVP trophy. “It could have gone to Jayson. Jayson, like I can't talk enough about his selflessness. You know, I can't talk enough about his attitude. It's just how he approached not just this series or the Finals but just the playoffs in general. And we did it together as a team, and that was the most important thing.”

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are primarily thought of as scorers. And while they can certainly do that, they were great playmakers throughout the postseason. The dynamic duo led the C's in assists and points in the Finals and did the same thing in Game 5.

“The main goal for us was to win a championship,” Tatum told the media in his postgame remarks. “We didn't care who got Finals MVP. I know that I need [Brown] through this journey and he needs me. So, you know, it was great to see him have that moment and share that moment with him. I'm extremely happy for him. Well-deserved. That was big-time. He earned that.”

The Mavericks showed Tatum plenty of defensive pressure in the short series. Whenever he drove to the rim, there were at least two to three defenders there to surround him. Luckily for the C's, that left open shooters who could make Dallas pay for overhelping. In fact, eight of Brown's points came via Tatum's assists.

“We've been playing together for seven years now,” Brown said of his relationship with Tatum. “We've been through a lot, the losses, the expectations. The media have said all different types of things: We can't play together, we are never going to win. We heard it all. But we just blocked it out, and we just kept going. I trusted him. He trusted me. And we did it together. To get to this point and share that experience with JT is just awesome, you know what I mean? It's amazing, and it feels great.”

Despite all the doubters, Boston's homegrown tandem never let the outside noise impact them on the floor. Even when they fell short in the 2022 Finals and numerous Conference Finals, they stuck together and proved that the Celtics organization made the right move in handing them the keys to the franchise.

“Banner No. 18 has been hanging over our head for so many years,” Tatum admitted. “To know that we're going to be engraved in history, and it still hasn't like registered. I'm just still trying to process it all. But we did it. We won a championship.”

The story doesn't end here. Jaylen Brown is under contract and Jayson Tatum is eligible for a gigantic supermax extension in July. If the Celtics run it back, they could have the opportunity to add to their ring count.

“I think we have an opportunity. I think we definitely have a window,” Brown stated. “We take it one day at a time. We definitely have to make sure we stay healthy. But, you know, we'll enjoy the summer, enjoy the moment, and then we get right back to it next year.”