Celtics

Jaylen Brown fueled by naysayers: 'I thrive off it'

Jaylen Brown fueled by naysayers: 'I thrive off it'

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics find themselves being counted out and discarded, a familiar place for a team that has spent most of this season exceeding expectations.

And as they gear up for tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls, a team that checked out weeks ago and is all about rebuilding for next season, no one would fault Boston for taking a similar tact after losing Kyrie Irving (left knee) for the season after having already lost Gordon Hayward (dislocated left ankle) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus, left knee) to season-ending injuries.

Irving, who was a week-and-a-half into recovering from a "minimally invasive" procedure to remove a tension wire from his left kneecap surgery in 2015, will have another surgical procedure performed on Saturday to remove two screws to address an infection in his knee.

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No Irving means the Celtics are doomed to struggle and fail to get out of the first round. At least that's the popular narrative surrounding the team now. 

That line of thought is nothing new for Jaylen Brown to hear about the Celtics this season. He has seen how the outward optimism viewed by many of the Celtics and their chances for success this season, quickly turned to doom-and-gloom with Hayward’s injury. And even as the wins piled up, there was still a sense of skepticism that this Celtics team, sooner or later, would fold.

Brown has heard all that . . . and loves it.

“I thrive off it, when people say this and say that and tell you what you’re gonna do, how successful you’re gonna be,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “I just smile and keep it moving.”

The injuries and all the second-guessing about how good the Celtics are has only fortified the chip on Brown’s shoulder that began to grow on the eve of him being drafted by Boston in 2016.

“At one point people said I was gonna go 15th in the draft,” said Brown who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick.

And he knows he’s not alone in feeling overlooked.

“People probably told Shane [Larkin] he wasn’t gonna make it to the NBA,” Brown said of Larkin, who was a first-round pick in 2013. “People probably told Terry [Rozier] he wasn’t going to be this or that . . . But we’re here. The makeup of our locker room has been the most significant thing for us to do what we’ve been doing. We got a lot of tough, resilient guys with a tough mindset.”

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Jaylen Brown contract extension: Isaiah Thomas shouts out 'ugly ass friend'

Jaylen Brown contract extension: Isaiah Thomas shouts out 'ugly ass friend'

Jaylen Brown is getting his money, and at least one former teammate couldn't be happier.

The 22-year-old wing reportedly agreed to a four-year, $115 million contract extension with the Boston Celtics on Monday afternoon.

Minutes after that news broke, Washington Wizards guard (and former Celtic) Isaiah Thomas chimed in with a hilarious congrats for his old friend.

Thomas overlapped with Brown for one season in Boston, compiling his career 2016-17 campaign when Brown was a rookie. That team grew close amid a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, and it appears Thomas still is keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.

The Celtics haven't confirmed Brown's extension, but the fourth-year guard appeared to reference the deal Monday afternoon on his Instagram story:

Brown averaged 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game last season in a regression from his 2017-18 campaign, but the Celtics clearly are betting on him by locking him up through 2024.

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Celtics' Jaylen Brown gets paid ... Is Jayson Tatum next?

Celtics' Jaylen Brown gets paid ... Is Jayson Tatum next?

BOSTON -- Wow!

We all knew that Jaylen Brown was going to get paid, but reportedly $115 million over four years?

It’s a huge investment on the Celtics’ part, for sure. 

And it provides Brown with the kind of generational wealth that NBA players covet.

But more than the money, it sends a clear and undeniable signal to Jayson Tatum who will be in line for a contract extension at the start of next season. 

And that message? 

You’re next. 

Brown’s monster contract will be joined a year from now by Tatum’s deal which gives Boston a dynamic tandem who will both be 23 years old or younger and have already been through the kind of postseason wars and battles that few players so young have had to fight.

And in the case of Brown, he has shown himself to be at his best in the postseason. Tatum has had some of his strongest moments as an NBA player in the playoffs, too. 

It’ll take fans a minute to get over the sticker shock of Brown’s deal because it was for more money than most had imagined. 

But make no mistake about it. 

This deal was about more than rewarding Brown for his play thus far and potential going forward with the Celtics. 

The Celtics are loading up for a future fueled by Brown and Tatum. 

Brown’s payday has arrived. 

Tatum?

That Brinks truck will be pulling up for you a year from now, young fella.

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