The underlying narrative surrounding the 2023-24 NBA campaign was can the Boston Celtics get the job done? The subplots of this enduring storyline, which justifiably developed after they were ousted by the Miami Heat twice in three postseasons, centered around Jayson Tatum's ability to come through in the clutch and Jaylen Brown's morale.

The former persisted all the way until Tatum posted a masterful close-out performance against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals, but the latter quickly diminished after Brown signed a super-max contract extension and proceeded to have the best season of his career. It did not completely vanish, however.

Back on a May episode of ESPN's “First Take,” Stephen A. Smith shared what an alleged NBA source said to him about Brown. And it was not too kind. “It’s not so much he’s underrated, it’s that he’s just not liked because of his ‘I’m better than you mentality,'” he read on air. “It’s the reason he’s not as marketable as he should be.”

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas took great offense on behalf of the three-time All-Star and urged Smith's source to “stand behind their own words.” Brown echoed a similar sentiment and fired back at the prominent sports personality and former reporter. “State your source,” he posted on X.

Well, the newly crowned NBA Finals MVP is doubling down on his stance at the Celtics' championship parade and is wearing a T-shirt with those very words written on it. He is promoting the theme of the day, week and even year– proving the doubters wrong.

Jaylen Brown, Celtics savor the championship glory

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are all too familiar with the outside chatter. Critiquing their play was entirely reasonable based on how Boston fell short in recent years, but the speculation about their relationship and Brown's attitude surely exhausted Celtics fans.

The two franchise pillars effectively blocked out the noise, however, exemplifying a selfless and well-rounded brand of basketball that finally launched the C's to championship banner No. 18 (all-time record). The entire team bought in and dispatched of the Mavericks in fairly routine fashion. Now, the players are reveling in the moment.

All of the doubt that hovered around the TD Garden, but never inside its locker room, clearly grated on this group. While Boston kept its composure during the season, it is taking time to clap back at some of the pundits who did not believe the dominant squad had what it takes to overcome the Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving-led Mavs.

“Make it make sense, Scal,” Brown said to 2008 NBA champion and current analyst Brian Scalabrine at Friday's festivities, via ClutchPoints, in regards to those who picked Dallas to win the series. “I ain't really got a comment. We here.”

Stephen A. Smith predicted the Mavericks would defeat the Celtics in six games, which is something the 27-year-old probably did not forget considering his choice of T-shirt. While Brown chose to make a statement, other members of the team went in a different direction with their attire.

Celtics have their fun at the parade

The outfits, specifically what is plastered on them, are a central part of many NBA title parades. Jaylen Brown (averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 2024 NBA Finals) is not the only one sporting some noticeable captions.

Derrick White donned a black shirt that read “Nobody cares,” referencing his favorite quote from head coach Joe Mazzulla (that was his response when White congratulated him on winning Coach of the Month). Big man Al Horford, who finally grabbed a hold of the Larry O'Brien trophy after playing 185 postseason games, also kept things loose by sporting the “drunk Tom Brady” shirt. The iconic quarterback infamously tossed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Lombardi Trophy from one boat to another in 2021.

The good vibes are spreading all throughout Boston. Though, the Celtics are also flashing their savage side on this momentous occasion. They bulldozed their way through this year with a giant chip on their shoulder. It will be interesting to see the mindset Tatum, Brown and everyone else carries into next season.