Jaylen Brown said all the right things Friday on ESPN’s “The Jump” when asked about his role with the Boston Celtics.
Brown, who earlier this week bemoaned the atmosphere surrounding the Celtics amid their recent struggles, made it clear Friday he’s focused exclusively on helping Boston win, even if it means fewer minutes and a reduced stat line for the third-year swingman.
“I just do the best I can with the cards I’ve been given,” Brown said. “I just come out, try to play hard and add to winning as best as possible. Everybody’s happy when you win. As long as we win, I’m fine with everything. I don’t make the decisions, but I come out and try to play hard and add to winning and be a good teammate.”
This is a very mature perspective from Brown, a former third overall pick who flashed his potential last season, particularly in the playoffs when he averaged 18.0 points and 4.8 rebounds while playing 32.4 minutes per game across 18 contests.
Brown, whose role has changed this season thanks to the returns of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, entered Friday averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game for the 2018-19 campaign. The 22-year-old has started 23 of the 61 games in which he’s played.
Brown obviously would like to contribute as much as possible to Boston’s success moving forward, but he’s also understanding of the challenges Celtics coach Brad Stevens faces in finding the best rotation possible and therefore is taking his revised responsibilities in stride.
“It’s a lot. I’m not going to lie to you — mentally, physically, everything, when you just happen to adjust to the league,” Brown said. “But a part of this business that we’re in is being mature and handling it the right way — being professional and stuff like that — so I’ve taken it and I’ve learned, and it actually has made me a lot better as a basketball player and as a person than I expected.”
Brown struggled earlier this season but has played better of late. The same can be said for the Celtics, who dropped five of their first six games after the NBA All-Star break before picking up back-to-back wins over the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings to begin their current four-game West Coast road trip.
“It doesn’t matter to me, as long as we keep winning,” Brown said. “I’m going to just do the best I can to be the best version of myself and help this team win.”
Things suddenly appear to be trending upward for the Celtics, who return to action Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. And it’s seemingly reflected in the players’ attitudes.
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Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images