Celtics

Celtics

WALTHAM, Mass.  -- Jaylen Brown was about to start explaining his role with the Boston Celtics’ starting five when a voice from behind him said, “Light work!”
 
Brown immediately pivoted, saw that it was Kyrie Irving and replied, “It’s a long season baby!”
 
Said Irving: “Light work. Where’s your young fella at?”
 
He was referring to rookie Jayson Tatum, who like Brown, played some 1-on-1 against Irving and well, let’s just say it didn’t go as well for Brown or Tatum.
 
“Hey [Jayson],” Irving yelled across the practice floor. “Good playing with y’all today, boys. Good playing with y’all today.”
 
One of the biggest questions Boston will have all season centers around leadershic -- specifically, where will it come from.
 
Brad Stevens already indicated that the team would not name team captains this season, and will instead rely on a lead-by-committee approach.
 
But the aforementioned interaction between Irving, Brown and Tatum speaks to how Irving will approach his job which in addition to being the team’s most dynamic player, will also include him instilling his brand of leadership.
 
Some lead by talking, others by their talent.
 
Irving thus far has shown a willingness to do both.
 
Players have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of on-the-floor communication by Irving with his teammates in training camp thus far.
 
“Kyrie is talking to everybody, the younger guys,” rookie Daniel Theis told NBC Sports Boston.
 
And what he isn’t conveying in words, as Brown and Tatum can attest to, he’s spelling out in his play on the court.
 
Brown said above all else, the 1-on-1 matchups with Irving, Tatum and any of his other teammates, is all about self-improvement.
 
“Trying to come out and get better, stuff like this today, playing against Kyrie, 1-on-1 against Jayson Tatum, just pushing myself each and every day knowing this is a process,” Brown said.
 
And part of that process is dealing with the lessons doled out by Irving, knowing they’ll come accompanied with a little smack talk.
 
“Kyrie got us,” Brown acknowledged. “That’s going to happen. He’s got a lot of experience, playing at a high level. It’s a learning mechanism for me; learning how he moves, utilizing some of his game adding it to my game and being a better defender. If I can guard Kyrie Irving, I can guard the majority of guys in this league. Getting stops on him is going to make me better and make him better.”
 
And then there’s the smack talk.
 
“I’m OK with that,” said Brown, who initially said he would talk smack back to Irving after he beat him.
 
Brown added with a grin, “Actually, I won’t talk smack. I won’t say nothing because I’m supposed to [win].”