This Wednesday is Marcus Smart Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Smart throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Spurs-Celtics.
If you follow Isaiah Thomas and Jaylen Brown on social media, you probably already know the two ex-teammates have maintained a special bond since Thomas left the Boston Celtics in 2017.
Whether it's Thomas calling Brown ugly, or Brown telling Thomas he can't guard him, the two are always jokingly going at it off the court. But playful banter aside, Thomas is proud of what Brown is doing on it.
Thomas talked before Monday night's C's-Wizards about the 23-year-old's big season and how his $115 million contract extension may have helped him focus more on his game.
“I’m happy for him,” Thomas said, per The Boston Globe. “I think getting paid has taken a lot off his shoulders. Now he’s able to just focus on playing basketball and I think that’s what he’s doing. I think he’s only showed a little bit of what he’s really capable of doing and he’s still young and got so much talent and I’m happy for him.”
The former Celtics star opened up about what was a difficult 2017 for both him and Brown, and how going through those dark days helped form a special bond between the two of them.
“That’s like a little brother of mine,” said Thomas. “Those guys went through a real-life situation with me with the passing of my sister. So anybody that was on that team is somebody I really truly care about. Then with the passing of one of his best friends, I was there with him for that. So it’s bigger than basketball when it comes to Jaylen and I really care for the guy, so I always try to make sure his head is in the right place.”
Upon returning to Boston in November, Thomas said it "will always be love" with the city he spent three years of his career. Clearly, it'll always be love with Brown too.
Don't miss Marcus Smart Day and NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Spurs, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.