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In between Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd called Jaylen Brown the Boston Celtics' "best player." If this was an attempt to create tension between Brown and Jayson Tatum, it was too transparent to work. That same day, Brown and Tatum both told reporters that they had "no reaction" to the quote and Celtics center Al Horford said, "Jason Kidd, man. I see what he's doing." Horford also called Kidd "sneaky."

Kidd, however, claimed on Tuesday that he was not trying to, as Tatum put it, "drive a wedge between" Boston's stars. Kidd told The Athletic's Sam Amick that he was merely sharing his opinion.

"It wasn't mind games," Kidd said. "But for whatever reason, everybody took it that way. Everybody was speculating, and no one really asked me that."

Kidd told The Athletic that, while watching the Eastern Conference playoffs, he thought Brown had been the Celtics' best player. He referenced Boston guard Jrue Holiday saying that Kidd wasn't lying, even though Holiday had already made a point to clarify that he does "not prefer one or the other."

"Like, I was just giving it from a point of view of watching," Kidd said. "There wasn't no mind games. I was just making an observation."

Kidd also pointed out that he and Brown have a relationship dating back to Brown's days at the University of California. 

"He has a group of people that he entrusts," Kidd said. "He's a Cal Bear -- a former Bear, like me."

In Game 2, a 105-98 Mavericks loss, the Celtics played the same sort of focused, unselfish, drive-and-kick-heavy offensive basketball as they did in the opener. The way they have responded to Kidd's comments, both in press conferences and on the court, suggests that, while he was a Hall of Fame basketball player, he is not that great at mind games.

He's not so terrible at mind games, though, that he'll tell everybody when he's playing them.