On Saturday, March 11, the Boston Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks in the first contest of their six-game road trip, with Jaylen Brown impressing in front of his hometown crowd.
When speaking to Brian Scalabrine of NBC Sports Boston’s following the game, Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins spoke glowingly about the player Brown has developed into, sharing how he’s been following the All-Star’s career since he was a young kid.
“I watched him when he was a young man here in Atlanta,” Wilkins told Brian Scalabrine, “To see his growth and what he’s come to be — he was like a man amongst boys back then because of his physicality and he was so much bigger and stronger than those guys…He’s developed each and every year because he wants to be one of the best to play this game. I’ve always been a fan of his. I’ve always appreciated how hard he plays. He plays with no fear and doesn’t mind banging down there with bigger guys. A lot of things that he’s doing, it reminds me of myself.”
Brown, 26, ended the contest against Atlanta with 24 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals while shooting 55.6% from the field as he reaffirmed his All-Star credentials.
Jaylen Brown Enjoys Playing in Atlanta
When speaking to the media following Boston’s November 16 victory over the Hawks, Brown spoke on his enjoyment at playing in front of a hometown crowd and what it means to him to see friends and family before and after the game.
“It’s always fun coming back home, seeing some familiar faces,” Brown said. “Seeing people that you seen growing up, seeing family, seeing friends — courtside — giving you support, showing you love. Leaving after the game, people chanting my name. Like, I grew up and went to high school — I went to Marietta — probably 15, 20 minutes away from here. Growing up, I went to a lot of Hawks games. It’s just a blessing to be able to be here at this point in my career and still be able to come and to represent this part of Georgia where I came from…So, it’s amazing to be out here tonight and to get a win, but overall, I’m grateful to God to be able to be here and do what I love and represent my city.”
Brown will enter the final year of his current contract next season, becoming an unrestricted free agent, yet it’s likely that the Celtics will be doing everything possible to keep him in a Boston jersey for the prime years of his career.
Celtics Expected to Keep Jaylen Brown
According to an Eastern Conference Executive, who spoke with Heavy on Sports Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, it’s unlikely Brown will look to leave Boston at the end of his current contract unless he wants to be a primary option on the offensive end.
“Jaylen Brown is a tricky guy to figure out,” The executive said, “The only thing that would potentially lead him to leave Boston with his next contract is that maybe he does not want to be second fiddle with (Jayson) Tatum there. But that is just a guess—there is nothing he has done or said to ever make you think he would go through with that. The stuff with Kevin Durant, you know, Jaylen was in trade rumors all through his early career for Anthony Davis and Paul George, and Jimmy Butler, remember. So, Kevin Durant, that is nothing new for him. That’s not going to change him or how he views the team. The only threat to the Celtics on that is that there can only be one No. 1 option.”
Brown and Jayson Tatum have formed a fearsome duo for the Celtics, and given the team’s current success and roster construction, it’s unlikely that Brown would want to take his talents elsewhere when there’s such a significant chance of winning championships in Boston.