Jaylen Brown has been sensational for the Boston Celtics throughout the playoffs, but although Boston’s fired on all cylinders, the outside reception doesn’t reflect the vibe inside TD Garden.

Boston’s ahead of Indiana, 3-0, in the Eastern Conference finals. In Game 2, Brown shifted the energy by going off for a game-high 40 points, which also matched a career playoff high for the three-time All-Star. Yet, instead of praise, the discourse Brown prompted was a point that even the 27-year-old questioned, courtesy of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

“State your source,” Brown posted Sunday on the social media platform X.

Smith, a loose user of the term “source,” expanded on the claim that Brown’s demeanor and attitude aren’t received well across the league, therefore, it’s harmed the Celtics co-star’s marketability. Without anything other than a text message to reference, Smith publicized the notion of Brown’s character flaws ahead of Boston’s 114-111 win over the Pacers on Saturday night.

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“It’s not so much that he’s underrated, it’s that he’s just not liked because of his, ‘I am better than you,’ attitude,” Smith read off his phone on “First Take.” “He knows it. It’s the same reason he is not as marketable as he should be. That’s what an NBA source just sent me.”

There isn’t evidence to support or debunk Smith’s reporting, making the claim outsider gossip at the most.

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Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, a mentor of Brown’s since his time as a student-athlete at UC Berkley, chimed in to defend the now-NBA star and (also) challenge the legitimacy of Smith’s report.

“(Brown) is 100 percent marketable and before you slander his name @stephenasmith tell your source to put their name on it or don’t speak on it. Let it be known,” Thomas published Sunday on X.

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The Celtics are used to the media scrutiny — warranted and unwarranted — after appearing in six of the last eight conference finals. Brown especially, after signing a record-breaking $304 million supermax extension with Boston, can silence the lousy postseason fodder with five more wins and a new banner hanging in the TD Garden rafters.

Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images