Danny Ainge: Jaylen Brown 'handled difficult situation better than anybody' on Celtics

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Danny Ainge: Jaylen Brown 'handled difficult situation better than anybody' on Celtics

When the Celtics came within one game of the NBA Finals in 2018, Jaylen Brown was a major player in their postseason run, averaging 18 points per game in the playoffs.

Flash forward to last season, when injuries and chemistry problems derailed the C's quest to live up to their lofty preseason expectations. Brown went from being a starter to a reserve, starting just 25 games and seeing all of his stats dip along the way.

Yet despite the well-documented obstacles along the way, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was impressed with what he saw from the third-year swingman.

"He might have handled a difficult situation better than anybody on our team last year," Ainge said during a recent taping of The Michael Holley Podcast alongside Celtics managing partners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca. "Very mature kid, wants to be great, knows that his time is coming."

"It's hard for him to be patient, but he has been patient. And he continues to work," Ainge continued. "He's trying to find ways to get better, and I think Jaylen's going to be a very good player and has a very bright future."

Right now, that future includes a stint alongside teammates Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart on the U.S. National Team. Yet Ainge said it was the Celtics' past that Brown had some trouble wrapping his head around.

"He came and sat behind me, and he said, 'Do you think we're as good as the 1986 Celtics team?' " Ainge told host Michael Holley. "And I went, 'Oh my gosh. He's so young.' "

Brown wasn't even born until 10 years after the '86 Celtics steamrolled to a championship after a 67-win season. And to Ainge, Brown's comparison was a sign of naivete.

"I mean, I just don't think they could even grasp that 1985 loss to the Lakers and the torture of that series and what that led (to), and Larry Bird was in his prime, one of the greatest Celtics of all time," Ainge said. "But it was just fascinating. (Brown) was looking at it like matchup to matchup to matchup, like you're doing a video game. That was a real awakening to me -- just the perspective of guys."


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Watch the teaser for Kevin Garnett's upcoming Showtime documentary

Watch the teaser for Kevin Garnett's upcoming Showtime documentary

The first teaser for Kevin Garnett's upcoming Showtime documentary dropped Monday, and it looks like a must-watch for basketball fans.

In the trailer, KG tells a story about encountering NBA legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen at a gym in Chicago in 1995 and how that was where he found out he could enter the NBA Draft straight out of high school.

"We get in there, Mike Jordan in there. Scottie Pippen was in there," Garnett says.

"I jumped in, I tied my [shoes] up, and then Jordan was like 'let's go.' I just remember Pippen saying that I was too young to be out here ... and it was Isiah Thomas like, 'I saw you play Scottie Pippen, you could play in the league right now. And when he said that, the world stopped ... He said, 'Boy, do you know you can go to the league from high school?'"

Watch below (video contains explicit language):

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Knowing how great of a storyteller Garnett is, this documentary definitely won't lack in entertainment value.

The last couple of weeks certainly have been notable for KG. On Feb. 13, the Celtics revealed they will retire his No. 5 jersey. The following day, Garnett was named as a finalist for the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Showtime's Garnett documentary is set for a Fall 2020 release.

NBA Power Rankings: How things change after All-Star weekend

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NBA Power Rankings: How things change after All-Star weekend

BOSTON -- The 69th NBA All-Star delivered something we haven’t seen in quite a while - a competitive game. 

The final score, a 157-155 win for Team LeBron, underscores how the NBA found the cheat code in balancing entertaining basketball with a legitimately competitive game. 

There will likely be some tweaks made for next year’s game (suggestion: Games have to end on a field goal made, and if a team fouls a player when the game is within one possession, the player has to go to the bench for the rest of the game).

Now that the All-Star game is in the rearview mirror of the season, the focus for many shifts almost entirely towards the postseason. 

The last week leading up to the All-Star break did little to shake up the upper chambers of the NBA standings, but the jockeying among teams with middle-of-the-pack status, as well as those on the outside of the playoff picture looking to get in, will provide much of what we saw in the All-Star game - a competitive, entertaining brand of basketball.

Click here for A. Sherrod Blakely's NBA Power Rankings