Currently averaging 19.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists in the Bean, Brown is a crowd favorite. More importantly, it now seems like a no-brainer that the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft signed an extension on his rookie deal worth up to $115 million.
For those keeping score at home, Brown will remain in Boston through 2024.
The move seems like a wise one for Boston. Brown is 22, he’s earned All-Star consideration and is cognizant of what the Celtics are building.
On Saturday, I sat down with Brown in New York City and discusses the Celtics’ loss last week to the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston’s outlook as a contender, NBA free agent Jamal Crawford and his former Celtics teammate, Kyrie Irving – who is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Jaylen Brown Addresses Kyrie Irving Rumors
Among the many interesting comments from Brown, one key topic was his former teammate Kyrie Irving. The now-Brooklyn Nets guard has been a talking point in the media in recent seasons, both in positive and negative lights.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: We’re in Brooklyn, your former teammate Kyrie Irving is a member of the Nets. Are you happy to see him at home and flourish in Brooklyn despite his injuries?
Jaylen Brown: Yeah, I think this is where [Brooklyn] he [Kyrie Irving] wanted to be. I’m happy to see him flourish and I think it’s going to be good for the Brooklyn Nets.
Brown addressed the belief of some people that Irving is toxic, but thinks the bulk of the blame Kyrie absorbed was undeserved.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: People have often said and made narratives about Kyrie being toxic. I don’t think that’s true, what do you say to people who question his heart and his ability to play the game of basketball?
Jaylen Brown: Everybody is going to have their own opinion. I don’t think Kyrie cares too much, maybe he does, and maybe he [Kyrie] shouldn’t care as much as he does. He’s Kyrie Irving at the end of the day … nobody is perfect. Kyrie got a lot of the blame and was undeserving. It wasn’t his fault that certain guys couldn’t take a step back. It wasn’t his fault. That was the front office and the coach’s fault. He gets a lot of that blame because he was the star. But a lot of that should be on the organization and coaching staff. It’s in the past. Kyrie is in a better place in Brooklyn, somewhere his roots are. He’ll be fine.
Are Celtics Overlooked in Eastern Conference?
Much of the attention through the early stages of the 2019-20 NBA season has gone to the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. I spoke with Brown about that, along with whether he believes his Celtics aren’t receiving the attention they deserve.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: My opinion Philadelphia [76ers] as well as Milwaukee [Bucks] is what everyone is paying attention to. But you guys have upgraded, you’ve added a point guard you re-upped [received contract extension]. Do you feel that you guys [Celtics], as far as in the Eastern Conference, are being overlooked?
Jaylen Brown: I wouldn’t say that we’re overlooked, wouldn’t even say we’re under-looked, I just say we play basketball. Always focused on what’s in front of us, it’s a long season, we’re only 20-something games in the season and we have sixty more to go. So I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.
Jaylen Brown Talks Kemba Walker & Jamal Crawford
With Irving long gone in Brooklyn, the Celtics added another exceptional point guard in Kemba Walker. Brown had high praise for his new teammate, detailing just how humble and impressive Walker has been.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When I look at Kemba Walker, to me he’s closer to home and he’s got something to prove. It’s one thing to look at him on the court and it’s another thing playing against him or with him. What have you learned about Kemba?
Jaylen Brown: Humble. You learn a lot about people when they go through adversity. Team USA together, experiencing that whole trip – losing, coming up short. You learn a lot about people and how they feel about you and how they carry themselves. Everything Kemba does is first class.
Another noteworthy name through the start of the NBA season has been Jamal Crawford, but for an entirely different reason. Crawford, even at age 39, has shown he can still play at a high level but remains a free agent. This hasn’t sat well with many fans, and Brown is surprised by the fact that the talented scorer hasn’t found a home yet.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Jamal Crawford is still a free agent. Would you like to see him play in Boston?
Jaylen Brown: I would like to see him on the floor in general. I think he still can go despite his age, I think people look at the age and start getting funny about whatever, but it’s 2019. The recovery times are different, the ages that people are peaking at are different. I think Jamal Crawford can still play, I say let him go.
Jaylen Brown Talks Contract, Celtics Fans & More
After putting pen to paper on a new contract this offseason, Brown offered some insight into how he celebrated (or didn’t) the new deal. The Celtics star also discussed the city of Boston, among other things, while offering the team’s fanbase high praise.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You signed an extension with Boston – I was on vacation in Orlando when I saw it and was happy for you. What was the first thing you did to celebrate?
Jaylen Brown: I didn’t really do any celebrating. Like, to keep it (100) with you, I didn’t really celebrate, still haven’t celebrated. It feels great to be able to take care of my family and have the financial means to do so. But it was never about the money for me, I’m trying to be great.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When I look at the Boston Celtics, you’ll make a trip to the conference finals. Raw and hungry, you went up against the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers team. You were a part of that process. What do you personally need to do to find your way back not only to the conference finals but to the NBA Finals?
Jaylen Brown: Just continue to get better. Once we get the time and don’t overlook the journey. A lot of the times people put expectations on Boston and the media. Don’t mind none of that, just keep playing basketball, have fun and get better. Things will start to come into your wheelhouse.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: In Boston, one of the things Kevin Garnett said to me was: “Once you’re there, the fans take a certain liking to you and then you end up playing.” Being drafted by the Celtics, what’s the one thing you’ve learned about the fans that may have surprised you?
Jaylen Brown: To be honest I was surprised how intense they are. The intensity of the Boston Celtics fans – they give no ground, like, if you’re not playing well they’ll let you know about it. If you are playing well they’ll let you know about it. A very intense city with a great fan base and they care a lot about sports. So that makes you that much bigger of a star if you’re playing in a city. So I was surprised that people care so much about everything I did and everything I do in Boston. It’s a platform now because it’s a sports town and they care about everything that is involved with Jaylen Brown. It’s a win.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You flirted with a triple-double on Thursday, then you fouled out. If you can go back in that game on Thursday. What’s the one thing you wish you could’ve done differently?
Jaylen Brown: Not foul. The game and the way they were calling it was just super … everybody was in foul trouble that game so it was a tough game for us. They set the tone with physicality, we didn’t match it so we got fouls. Going back I wish I would’ve just not fouled a little bit more so I could’ve got it. But it’ll come back.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who and what did you work on during the summer? Are you happy or surprised about how you’ve flourished so far early on this season?
Jaylen Brown: Marcus Smart and I were at [Team] USA a large part of the summer. I didn’t really get to workout with any NBA guys like that. Terry Rozier is a part of some guys that I stay working out with and they look good.