Jaylen Brown has impressed as a leader both on and off the court since being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2016. But as he prepares for Year 5 of his NBA career, the 24-year-old is looking for more ways to step up as a leader in the Boston community.
Brown recently was named one of The Boston Globe's "Bostonians of the Year" for his commitment to the fight against racial injustice. The Globe gave Brown the title of "The Role Model" and commended him for his activism.
In May, Brown drove from Boston to Atlanta to organize a peaceful protest following the murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer. He later spent much of his time in the NBA's Orlando bubble -- where players were isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic -- speaking with the media about racial injustice and mental health.
Still, there is so much more Brown hopes to accomplish. After the Celtics' practice on Saturday, he discussed his desire to make a difference in the local community.
“I’ve been in Boston for five years, and I’m a Bostonian now in a sense,” Brown said. “It’s a major time of my life I’ve spent in Boston now. I’m trying to be a part of the solutions and not the problems here, and trying to see where I can help out because it takes a community, and I’m trying to be a part of this community. I’m definitely trying to get more engaged and see where I can help out the most.”
C's head coach Brad Stevens is 20 years older than Brown, but he still finds himself looking up to one of his youngest players.
“I think a couple of things that are most important about being a leader, especially when you’re a younger player in the league and people are already starting to look to you, is that you’re willing to serve other people and help them soar and be the best they can be,” Stevens said.
“That you set a great example and that you do so within your own personality. It’s important to be authentic, and I think he’s good at all three of those things. I think he’s a person who really is all about all the good stuff. I think that he’s already a good leader. And I think he will become one of the game’s better (leaders) over the course of time.”
Brown makes it clear that a leadership role is one he will thrive in -- both as a player and as a citizen -- for years to come.
“I think I've always been a leader in a sense,” said Brown. “Whether it's on-court or off the court, it's just natural. It's not anything that's unfamiliar to me. It's just now the opportunity's being presented, and you just gotta step into that role.”
He certainly has done just that.