Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown has come a long way since his rookie season, and he believes he wouldn’t be where he is today without some tough love. According to the two-time All-Star, getting “bullied” by NBA veteran Gerald Green helped him grow exponentially.
In a recent interview with NBA insider Shams Charania, Brown discussed how players like Green molded him and gave him the confidence he needed to mature in the league.
“I was getting bullied by the vets,” Brown said while laughing. “Gerald Green was my favorite vet. You probably don’t hear his name a lot but for somebody to pull me to the side and say, ‘Listen, you got the opportunity to be great, you got the opportunity to be special.’ When, at the time, nobody else was saying that.”
The 37-year-old Green played in the NBA for nearly 15 years, most recently securing a G-League championship with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2022. The former No. 1 recruit in the nation was drafted by Boston all the way back in 2005 and he teamed up with Brown when he returned to the Celtics in 2016.
Most 3-point field goals made in a McDonald’s All-American Game
6 — Gerald Green (2005)
5 — Bronny James (2023)
5 — Frank Jackson (2016)
5 — Daequan Cook (2006)
5 — J.R. Smith (2004) pic.twitter.com/G14KDwIpMN
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 29, 2023
Green was known for his high-flying dunks and impressive athleticism, yet he never developed into a true All-Star. Brown has a similar athletic ability, and it seems as if Green recognized his true potential before most of the league.
Jaylen Brown Rookie Year (‘16-17):
6.6ppg/2.8rpg 45% FG 34.1% 3FG
Jaylen Brown This Year (‘20-‘21):
26.9ppg/6.0rpg/3.7apg 52.4% FG
He’s making that most improved player leap… pic.twitter.com/WMpAHpjA2R
— Hoops Unwrapped (@HoopsUSN) January 25, 2021
Brown, who struggled during his rookie year, looked back on his early days in the league during the interview, realizing where he went wrong.
“It took some time for me,” Brown continued. “I’m a little bit stubborn at times so when guys are telling you to ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ it’s hard to release the ego and humble yourself and learn how to follow before you can lead.”
Brown now has a chance to lead the C’s alongside star teammate Jayson Tatum, as Boston is back in the postseason and more than capable of making some noise.
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