Inside the Celtics' championship locker room: champagne, confetti and a powerful lesson

Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior WriterJun 18, 2024, 12:00 PM ET

CloseSenior writer for ESPN.comSpent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily NewsOpen Extended Reactions

THE CALL ITSELF was not unusual. In the seven years they’d played together, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had kept in touch over the summers. Mostly via text, but occasionally they’d run into each other somewhere after the playoffs had ended and before training camp began. They were teammates and colleagues, but not close friends.

Offseasons tend to feel very short when playoff runs are long. And people tend to give each other space during the offseason before coming back to try to climb the mountain together again.

Last summer was no different. The Celtics had played deep into May before losing a Game 7 to the Miami Heat in the conference finals in the most excruciating way — with Tatum turning an ankle