Athletes draw motivation from different sources. Different types of personalities value different approaches. Some of them need a constant tap on the back, while others live for proving their haters wrong. Thankfully, Jaylen Brown proved his haters wrong, given that her assessment of where he would end up was far from optimistic.
Boston Celtics’ shooting guard was told by his high-school teacher six years ago that she would look him up in jail. Quite a thing to say to a kid in high school. Brown never went into detail about the whole story, until he made an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast where he discussed the topic more openly.
“I remember like it was yesterday. We had a class, and I came in, and I just got back from a basketball camp. I think it was LeBron and maybe KD. I get back to class; I haven’t been to class for like a week because I was gone for the camp. I get back and a lot of the kids are asking me about meeting LeBron. And this was all happening during the class, but kids got distracted and were asking me all these questions about what my experience was. Then somebody said ‘you’re going to be a superstar’ and the teacher overheard it, and she was like ‘if he doesn’t finish his work his not going to be anything.’ I responded to the teacher and said that with or without this class, I’m going to be somebody, I’m going to be just fine too what she said ‘I’ll look you up in five years in the Cobb county jail’”
Jaylen Brown, via The Woj Pod
As we all know, the teacher couldn’t be more wrong. Brown did become everything he said out to be. After a year at the University of California, he got drafted 3rd overall. He became a member of one of the greatest NBA franchises, where he just had his best season yet, averaging 20.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG, while being one of the better defenders on the team. Over the years, The Marietta, Ga., native has spoken about the incidents, saying how it was something he hangs onto and never really forgot. However, he used it as a motivation, and that alone is one of the fuels that kept Jaylen going over the years. It’s a sentiment Brown has carried with him for all six years, but he’s not angry about it.
“When somebody says something like that, you never really forget it. Something like that you hang onto. I don’t want to get into what happened, because I’m going to leave it in the past where it belongs, but it’s true. In Georgia, our education system isn’t the best, so I don’t put too much blame on teachers. It is what it is. But one teacher handling 35 kids in one class it’s tough. There’s a lot of teachers who go through stuff and take a lot of crap all day, so who knows what was going through her mind that day when she said that. But I will let it be in the past. I will use it as motivation.”
Jaylen Brown, via NBC SPORTS
Leaving the teacher’s harsh prediction in the past hasn’t stopped Jaylen to continue to savor in proving her wrong. Boston fans can only hope she will predict the Celtics not winning the championship in the next five years so Brown can prove her assessment wrong one more time.