Jaylen Brown went out of his way to make sure he didn’t forget the pain of the Boston Celtics coming up short in the NBA Finals last season.
At each of his summer workouts, Brown wore the same pair of Nike Kobe V sneakers that he sported during the Golden State Warriors’ clinching Game 6 victory at TD Garden.
“This summer, the shoes that I had worn the last game of the season, I wore them every workout this summer,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston during Monday’s Media Day. “Every training, every lift, every core session. If you see the shoes now, they’re damn near in like shreds. But just to remind myself.”
Celtics Media Day 2022: Best clips from player and coach interviews
Brown said he toyed with the idea of wearing the tattered gold shoes to Media Day. Instead, they hang at home as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to take that final step.
"I can't wait to get back this year just because of how last year ended,” said Brown. “There’s a lot of things that we did well last year, and a lot of things that I wish I did different. So this offseason, this summer, I was pushing myself to be able to just get back to this point, to be able to start the season again. And now, fast forward, we’re here.
"It wasn't a great summer. It was a great summer but it wasn't a great summer having to live with the awareness that you were in the Finals and you dropped the ball, even if it was against one of the greatest teams in NBA history or whatever. We were up 2-1 with a home game. So when you start to break it down and look at it and watch those games — Game 4 and things like that — it doesn't make you feel great. So I'm excited to get back.
"You move on, you learn from it. It was our first time there but you still don't forget.”
Celtics Talk: 1-on-1: Jaylen Brown’s motivation-filled summer, plus thoughts from Celtics training camp | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
It was an interesting offseason for Brown who once again saw his name mentioned in trade rumors, this time amid breathless speculation about Kevin Durant’s future. Brown admitted the rumors can still be frustrating but pledged to continue putting his best foot forward.
How confident is Brown that he and the Celtics can power through all the recent adversity, including injuries that eroded the team’s frontcourt depth and the year-long suspension for head coach Ime Udoka?
"How confident am I? That's a great question. All I can say is really that I am excited,” said Brown. "Like, this presents challenges that I don't think everybody knows is on the other side of the door. It's just unique for everybody.
"I haven't been through anything like this. Jayson [Tatum] hasn't been through anything like this. So it's definitely new. I believe in my guys, right? A lot of stuff going on but that's what's going to take precedence -- we get to start practice tomorrow. That will be great to start getting things going. Because basketball is a great equalizer to everything. So we’re looking forward to playing some good ball.”
Watch Chris Forsberg's full 1-on-1 with Jaylen Brown below: