Jaylen Brown managed to notch his first All-Star appearance this season, as the young Celtics swingman has shown a massive improvement since his rookie season. The number three pick in the 2016 Draft had a disappointing rookie season, averaging 6.6 points per game while shooting 45.4 % from the floor. He was very passive and even moping at times, showing pretty lousy body language. But a voicemail from Celtics legend Kevin Garnett changed it all.
Brown spoke to NBC Sports Chris Forsberg in an interview recently about how KG had a message for him that he send via the Celtics assistant coach Bryan Doo that helped him mentally and allowed him to change his mindset.
“My head was down or something. I don’t think it was because I was sad or anything. But I wasn’t playing, so I probably was a little bit disappointed… He left me a voicemail and was basically like, ‘Yo, B-Doo, man, tell Jaylen this is trash.‘ Going on and on about this or that. Then he was like, ‘Yo, tell him that you’re in the big-boy league, you’ve got to strap up someday. It doesn’t always go your way, but you’ve got to figure out this or that.‘ … I’ve respected him and his mentality for the game since forever. It was so encouraging and inspiring and influential for him to reach out to me and be like, ‘No, this is what the Celtics are about.‘ Like, ‘Pick your M-Fing head up, right now.’“Jaylen Brown, NBC Sports
Boston’s favorite and Celtics legend KG still actively watches NBA games. So after he noticed the young Brown putting his head down and not playing to his abilities, Garnett decided to help in his fashion.
Leaving a voicemail full of curse words and advice to encourage Jaylen to pick his head up and show the world what he’s got worked wonders, as Brown improved his game more and more each season. He eventually got to his best one this year, averaging 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game, notching his first All-Star appearance. It shows how tough love, especially from some of the greats, can have a massive impact on a young player—a class-act from Garnett in his own eccentric way.
Sideline Sources published a great story covering all the troubling trends with the Celtics. Brown’s improvement has been a silver lining in an overall disappointing season for the Celtics, and it all started years ago with a message from KG.