Before Jaylen Brown was making The Leap for the Boston Celtics, he might or might not have violated NCAA rules by carpooling with Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Back when Brown was playing for Cal, Kerr said he gave Brown and his son, Nick -- Brown's teammate on the Golden Bears -- rides to then-Oracle Arena for Warriors games during Brown's lone season in Berkeley in 2015-16.
"I actually had Jaylen in the car a couple times when he came to Oracle with my son for games, and I remember at the time telling Jaylen, 'Please don't say anything 'cause I think this might be a violation of some sort, 'cause you're supposed to be a lottery pick!'" Kerr joked to reporters in a pregame video conference Tuesday ahead of Golden State's game against Boston at Chase Center. "And we kind of laughed about it at the time."
Kerr probably was in good shape, considering he wasn't a Cal employee and a ride to a game Brown already had tickets to doesn't exactly constitute an "extra benefit" under the NCAA's rules, even if Kerr was representing the athletic department.
Of course, you can never be too careful with the NCAA.
Kerr said he watched Brown "a lot" when he played with Nick, noting that Brown always stood out physically. But Brown, who's averaging a career-high 27.1 points and 3.5 assists per game, "didn't have the skill that he has now," according to Kerr.
Brown's work ethic and the Celtics' coaching staff, led by Brad Stevens, made for an ideal combination.
"I think everything really worked out perfectly for all parties involved," Kerr said. "He was a raw player, and he needed structure and Boston gave him that. But more importantly, he's an incredibly hard worker [and] somebody who saw what he wanted to become, and he put in the work necessary to do so."