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With strong off-court statements this summer, Jaylen Brown cements his superstar status

Alex Reimer
August 17, 2018 - 10:27 am

Jaylen Brown’s breakout performance last postseason propelled him to stardom. This summer, through several strong off-court statements, he’s cemented his newfound status. 

Most true NBA stars command just as much attention for their quotes as their play. Brown, who held a lecture at Harvard University earlier this year about social empowerment, has shown a penchant for speaking out about societal issues. The politically aware forward out of California Berkeley recently added his perspective on President Donald Trump’s ongoing feud with outspoken black athletes in an interview with Bloomberg

“I think it’s interesting,” Brown said. “I don’t know if it’s propaganda, if it’s for media attention, but it’s interesting to see our president, who’s supposed to be the leader of our troops, handling himself in such a manner.

“I would say he’s doing a good job of making a lot of people upset. I would say that. But sports is a unique thing in our country. It’s so influential. It’s almost like a sacrament for religion. People praise LeBron James more than they praise anybody else. Sports is so powerful, and I think he realizes that. I think that’s where the conflict begins.”

Brown has criticized Trump in the past, calling him “unfit to lead” in a January interview with the Guardian. Though Brown doesn’t have the cache of LeBron James or other mega-stars, he’s still using his voice.

That might explain Brown’s seeming bond with Bill Russell. Earlier this week, Brown was photographed hanging with Russell, who didn’t know the meaning of the younger’s Twitter handle.

Brown isn’t shy about building up his team, either. Appearing on C.J. McCollum's Pull Up podcast, Brown guaranteed the Celtics would reach the NBA Finals this season.

"Oh, we're getting to the Finals," Brown said. "No question about it.”

The spotlight is now shining on Brown, and he’s embraced it. When training camp begins, lots of attention will be paid to the returns of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. But the maturation of Brown and Jayson Tatum are equally important to the Celtics’ success. 

So far, Brown is talking the talk. His play last year showed he can also walk the walk.