BOSTON -- We should have seen this coming from Jaylen Brown.
It’s not like he didn’t clue us in to how he was built differently than most players coming into the NBA.
His first NBA start came against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, a game in which Brown showed absolutely no nerves, anxiety or fear of James as he went on to score a then-career-high 19 points in what was his fifth game as a pro.
From there, Brown continued to show flashes of being an above-average talent, displaying an innate ability to successfully transition to whatever role he’s cast to play.
With the NBA season at a standstill now, it provides us an opportunity to take in what Brown has done thus far.
More significantly, it allows us to take inventory on what Brown’s body of work thus far tells us is on the horizon.
The 23-year-old Brown is on course to establish himself as an All-Star whose strength lies in his versatility to impact the game at both ends of the floor.
This season, Brown is averaging 20.3 points per game, joining teammates Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker as part of the only trio of NBA teammates this season with each averaging at least 20 points per game.
Of that threesome, Brown’s inclusion is the most surprising when you consider it wasn’t a given that he would start, let alone drop 20 points a night, at the start of the season.
A legit case could be made that Brown should have been an All-Star this season, with some surmising a top-two record by the Celtics prior to the break would have been enough to get him in along with Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum.
But it’s fitting that Brown’s time to shine will have to wait.
Because on many levels, that’s been the narrative surrounding his NBA career.
And while it would have certainly deterred some and disappointed others, it only drove Brown to continue working on his game, proving his naysayers wrong - including those who booed Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck when he announced that Boston had selected Brown with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
“Oh, I remember,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston recently. “I definitely remember.”
But instead of dwelling on what has happened, Brown is more locked into what the future holds for both him and the Celtics.
“Just keep getting better, keep grinding, keep working on all parts of my game,” he said. “That’s what I’ve done, to get where I’m at. So why stop now?”