I have never had a consistent favorite player. If you asked me when I was really little, I’d say Curt Schilling (I thought the bloody sock was cool). I never really appreciated Tom Brady until the past 4 years (Deflategate put things into perspective). I’ve always loved Ortiz, he is a close second on this list. Paul Pierce was clutch, Gronk is cool, Tim Thomas carried the Bruins to a Stanley Cup… but overall, today, I would say my favorite player is Jaylen Brown.
I am willing to say I was not all on board with drafting Jaylen in 2016. It was nothing against Jaylen, but rather against the Celtics for not drafting Kris Dunn. If we drafted Kris Dunn, we could trade him to the Bulls for Jimmy Butler. If we had Jimmy Butler, it could’ve increased our chances at getting Kevin Durant. I thought it was all tied together. Once I saw Jaylen, I was angry… but things have changed.
Once we got Jaylen, he instantaneously became our most athletic player, something we lacked in the years prior. Year 1 had glimpses of potential, but it was not until this past season when Jaylen really became my favorite.
We all remember Gordon Hayward getting hurt Game 1 versus Cleveland, but I remember Jaylen Brown jumping out of the gym. 5 minutes into the game, Jaylen’s role for the season quickly changed, but even before the Hayward injury, I could tell Jaylen was a different and more determined player than just a year before. Although Boston lost, Jaylen put up a performance that showed he was ready to progress from his rookie year.
Jaylen making the jump throughout his second year goes unnoticed by many because of how well Jayson Tatum did as a rookie, but it deserves recognition. He went from having a shaky jump shot in Year 1, to having a 39.5% 3-point shot, and TAKING 4.4 3PA per game (a huge jump) his sophomore campaign. He averaged almost 8 more PPG in Year 2, all shooting metrics went up, and his defense looked legit.
But to me, the reason Jaylen Brown is my favorite is the work he does off the court. He is 21 years old, yet I love what he’s done with his platform. At 21, he was the youngest person ever to give a lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (according to Jaylen). He is passionate about education (among other things), and is not afraid to speak his mine. He was just recently seen on Bloomberg TV discussing his curiosity in learning more things and becoming a more well-rounded person. He has said he understands how basketball has given him the opportunity to explore the world and do so many things, but he is humble as well. He knows he needs to give the game the respect it deserves for getting him here, and he says no matter where he is (Indonesia or Spain), he’ll find a gym and practice two hours a day.
Jaylen is not the perfect player, but I love his work ethic. I was extremely impressed with the jump he made from Year 1 to Year 2, and I see that he strives for greatness (something we take for granted at times). He stepped up even more in the postseason (18 PPG), helping to fill the void left by Kyrie Irving (as well as Hayward). But ultimately, I truly respect the way he sees life, understanding basketball is not the only thing. He loves the game, but is doing things considered taboo by athletes (because apparently it’s a negative if you do anything more than “shut up and dribble”). He’s willing to speak his mind and learn to better himself, something I really admire.
Jaylen says it best: Faith Consistency Hard Word Pays Off… FCHWPO.
And if you’re looking to find him on social media… just look up “@FCHWPO”
It all makes sense.
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