Shaquille O’Neal gives wise advice to Jaylen Brown during the NBA Finals

Shaquille O’Neal gives wise advice to Jaylen Brown during the NBA Finals, originally broadcast on NBC Sports Boston

Shaquille O’Neal knows a thing or two about winning NBA championships as part of an elite duo, so he’s as qualified as anyone to give advice to Boston Celtics superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

O’Neal and Kobe Bryant won three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002. But throughout their eight years as teammates, there were constant debates among the media and fans about whether which of the two superstars was the better player and which. one of them was more responsible for the team’s success.

O’Neal and Bryant were all business on the court and dominated to a level rarely seen. They are remembered as one of the five best duos in league history, and winning titles is the main reason why.

Brown and Tatum are under a lot of scrutiny themselves. Experts have been trying to divide them for years. Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd even attempted to create a diversion before Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals by twice stating in a press conference that Brown was the Celtics’ best player.

Neither Brown nor Tatum took the bait when asked about Kidd’s comments, and they both played significant roles in the Celtics’ Game 2 victory Sunday night, which gave to Boston a 2-0 lead in the series.

After the victory, Brown joined the NBA TV postgame show, where O’Neal gave the young star some sage advice.

This led to a funny exchange.

“I’m going to give you some information about the G-14 classification because this will be the last time you see me,” O’Neal told Brown. “It’s an enigma. Don’t focus on unnecessary titles. Do what you have to do. It doesn’t matter who is who or they say who is what. There’s no time for any of that right now. Do what you need to do and do it.

Asked if he understood that, Brown replied with a laugh, “No.”

“OK, well, let me explain,” O’Neal continued. “They try to separate you from your man by saying who is better. I say, don’t worry about unnecessary titles. ‘Who is the man?’ It doesn’t matter who this man is. Kobe is the man. Shaq is the man. Never mind. I take my 40. Kobe takes his 39. Let’s go win these championships. That’s what it meant.

O’Neal finally got his message across, and it’s a good one.

It doesn’t matter if Brown or Tatum is better, and it doesn’t matter if one of them wins Finals MVP — assuming the Celtics end up knocking off the Mavericks. The only thing that matters to Brown and Tatum, and to the Celtics as a whole, is finally winning Banner 18. That’s it.

Tatum and Brown know it, and it shows in their play. They don’t chase stats or credit. They will do whatever it takes to win. Some games that means scoring 30 points, and other nights it’s about rebounding and playing elite defense. Getting the job done is by far the most important goal.

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