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Kidd: I didn't intend to create 'mental warfare' with Brown praise

Brian Babineau / National Basketball Association / Getty

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd insists he wasn't playing any mind games when he stated Jaylen Brown was the Boston Celtics' "best player" following his all-around Game 1 performance.

"My comment about Jaylen Brown is from watching tape and watching Game 1," Kidd told Justin Termine and Eddie A. Johnson on SiriusXM NBA Radio on the eve of Game 3. "I thought, again, he was the best player - also a Cal alum - so we have ties. And so, I said that.

"Everybody thought it was mental warfare. That's not mental warfare, that was just my opinion. But if it was to be true, then dang, I didn't mean to cause such a stir."

Celtics guard Jrue Holiday backed up Kidd's assessment.

However, the veteran floor general later clarified that he didn't prefer Brown over Jayson Tatum or vice versa.

Meanwhile, Tatum interpreted Kidd's comments as another attempt to create tension in Boston's locker room.

"We understand that people try to drive a wedge in between us," Tatum told reporters last Saturday. "I guess it's a smart thing to do, or try to do. But we've been in this position for many ... years of guys trying to divide us and say that one of us should be traded or one is better than the other. So, it's not our first time at the rodeo."

The Celtics can take a 3-0 series lead with a victory Wednesday in Dallas.

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