Boston Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown, one of a handful of up-and-coming wings in the league who are expected to eventually become stars, carries a certain quality that separates himself from the rest of the pack: When it comes to the game, he’s fearless.
“He’s gotten better and better each time we’ve played him… He’s not scared. He’s not afraid,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
Brown carries a certain edge, a particular aspect that’s become scarce within today’s mix of players, and uses it to his advantage each game. Most believe he’s more on the quiet side; a shy, Kawhi Leonard-type of player who works in silence. What’s rarely documented are the times Brown has engaged in trash talk with an opponent, such as what happened with Warriors guard Stephen Curry weeks ago (although Brown claims he said nothing to Curry, despite calling one of his shots “cute” post-game).
Simply put, Jaylen Brown is a fierce, fearless competitor — the kind that would make a certain former Celtics player smile.
Before playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 Friday night, Brown made an interesting declaration when asked about LeBron James:
“LeBron’s a good player, but I look at him as just a regular guy to me,” Brown said in the video. “I got to come out and compete, he has to come out and compete. I got to tie my shoes just like he ties his shoes, so… There’s bigger threats in my neighborhood than LeBron James, so I have no fear whatsoever of LeBron.”
Brown doesn’t care who he’s matched up against: For him, each opponent is the same, and the end goal of winning the game doesn’t change.
Perhaps James was made aware of Brown’s comments pre-game, as the Celtics would later move on to be decimated by LeBron and the Cavs in a 44-point blowout loss at home. James, in playing just 33 minutes, was a plus-45 on the night.