| The Enterprise
A season ago, Jaylen Brown came close to being named an All-Star, but instead watched as his teammate Jayson Tatum ascended the NBA player pecking order and earned the honor.
This year, Brown made a similar leap and will join Tatum for the upcoming festivities.
The Boston Celtics young dynamic duo were both selected as Eastern Conference All-Stars Tuesday. For the 24-year-old Brown, it’s his first All-Star nod while the 22-year-old Tatum will make his second consecutive appearance.
Brown and Tatum, who are both ranked in the top 15 in the NBA in scoring, made a bit of Celtics history with the recognition, becoming the second pairing, and first since Bob Cousy and Ed Macauley in 1953, to both be named All-Stars prior to turning 25.
Brown is averaging a career-high 25.5 points to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game this season and getting to play in the All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7 brings even more significance since he grew up less than a half an hour away in Marietta, Ga.
“It should be some fun,” said Brown following Boston’s 110-107 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “It’s down in Atlanta, my hometown, my home city. I’m looking forward to it.”
Brown, now in his fifth season with the Celtics, has developed into a go-to scorer and consistent outside shooter. He is one of five players in the league this year registering at least 25 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
Brown has not only produced six 30-point performances through 29 games, but he also exploded for a career-high 42 points twice against the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers.
As Tatum heads to his second straight All-Star Game with Brown by his side this time, it came with mixed emotions as two days after blowing a 24-point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Celtics suffered a heartbreaking defeat to the Mavericks on a last-second Luka Doncic shot to send Boston tumbling under the .500 mark.
“It’s twofold because obviously I’m happy for him and his first All-Star (appearance),” Tatum said. “Like I said, he deserved it. But then it’s like, damn, look at our record and where we’re at. It’s hard to really focus on (the All-Star selection) when we’re not where we want to be at as a team. That’s how I approached it.
“It’s an honor to be an All-Star, but we’re used to winning games and being at the top of the East. That’s where my focus is at just trying to figure out what’s next for the team.”
Tatum upped his scoring output as well in his fourth season in Boston, totaling 26 points per game while also notching career marks in rebounds (7.1) and assists (4.6). Already one of the premiere scorers in the NBA, Tatum is the youngest player in Boston’s illustrious history to be selected to multiple All-Star teams.
“It’s an honor,” Tatum said. “Obviously don’t take that for granted. Thankful earning the respect of your peers, people you play against, the coaches that coach against you night in and night out.”
Tatum began his All-Star campaigning early on when he banked-in a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds in a season-opening win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Even after contracting COVID-19, something Tatum said last week is still affecting his breathing and endurance, he has performed at a high level. He started the 2021 calendar year off with 13 straight games of 20-plus points and 4-plus rebounds, the longest stretch of that type of production since Paul Peirce obtained that feat during the 2002-03 season.