June 1, 2022
Q. How do you see Marcus as a leader? What's the sweet spot he's found as a leader here?
JAYLEN BROWN: I think that we all just got comfortable with each other through experience. We've been playing together so long. So you learn each other's tendencies and each other's traits and how to talk and how to speak to each other and how to basically just be a better teammate.
I think that has probably been the biggest contribution because, over time, you learn, you make mistakes, you argue, you fuss, you fight. But once you've been together for so long with a group, with a core group, and you've been in the Celtics organization as long as Smart has been, you find different ways to be an example. I think that's what he's done.
Q. Jaylen, as recently as the bubble season there were only seven Black head coaches in the league. Darvin's hiring makes it 15, which is the most ever at one time. Curious, everybody in the bubble, from Adam Silver right on down the line, said change was going to have to happen, and the hiring has reflected some changes in some thinking and evolutions in some thinking. How much does that matter to you and to the players as a collective?
JAYLEN BROWN: If you're asking me, I don't understand what took so long, to be honest. I think that, of course, now it's a great thing to see and you see a lot of coaches that are getting an opportunity to flourish in these moments. Ime is a product of that. First-year head coach in the Finals, which is -- I don't know how many times that's been done before.
Overall, I think that's an example, not just in the NBA but our society as a whole, just opportunity is important. A lot of times we look at like things like that as more so -- what's the words I'm looking for? There's things that systemically go on that keep people out of positions that may go unnoticed, like opportunities, etc. But those make the biggest differences in the world, not being able to go to school, not being able to get in school, not being able to get jobs, not being able to get houses, not being able to do things that you should have the right to do, obviously is important.
Of course, this is the NBA, and we're talking about that. But I think that can be related to a grand scheme of things that kind of goes on in America.
Q. I think you were in high school when these guys made the Finals for the first time. What stood out to you watching -- you see a group of guys in their 20s, like you are now with this team making that run, and then sustaining it over all these years. What stuck out to you and what almost blueprint do you think that possibly could be for you guys?
JAYLEN BROWN: One, just watching those guys first was pretty cool to see. Between Steph, Klay and Draymond, probably the winningest basketball players in this last ten years' era.
So watching, learning, studying. Being here at Cal, at Berkeley, going to a lot of games. Being on the floor. Nick Kerr was my teammate, which is Steve Kerr's son. Long before I got to the NBA or before I got to the NBA, I got to talk to those guys, etc.
Coming into the league, knowing I wanted to be in that position, knowing I wanted to build that type of locker room environment you could sustain winning. Luckily we've been able to find some success, and going to the Conference Finals and making it over the hump and finally going to the Finals. So I'm excited about the future.
Q. There are reports that you signed with Kanye West's company. Can you confirm that? And you don't do anything without seriously thinking about it. What goes into that and how does that help your brand overall?
JAYLEN BROWN: It was confirmed. It was time. For me, like I said, anytime I make a life decision, I contemplate. I think about things deeply. And from what I want to do, the missions I want to get accomplished, it was the right decision. People have concerns or critiques about, etc., but in the world we live in, there's concerns and critiques in any and everything.
I feel like this is a good moment for me in my particular life. I'm excited to build and create and do things that I've always imagined I wanted to do on the court and off. So I think it's a beautiful collaboration, and I'm excited.
Q. Jaylen, the other night Jayson referenced how people had mentioned that maybe it was a good idea to split Jaylen and Jayson and maybe trade one of them, and Jayson had mentioned that instead of fracturing, you guys became closer. I wanted to know how that happened and what about both of your personalities allowed it to happen?
JAYLEN BROWN: To be honest, I'm not really sure. I think that we've been able to win in our career before. Last year, obviously things didn't work out, etc., for other reasons, but this year, I didn't feel like it was because of the way we played basketball. I just think they didn't come together at the right time.
Early on in the season, I was injured. I missed about 15 games. You know, the narrative isn't going to say that. They are just going to say that you guys lost. Doesn't matter what the excuse is. We've got a first-year head coach. We were trying to figure it out. We play in a city that it has no patience for any excuses, so we didn't make any.
But as things started to come together, we got healthier. We made a couple moves in the front office that were vital for us, and things started to fall in line. I think that's what, if you ask me, that's what I believe. But you ask somebody else, they might say something different.
Q. To follow up on that, you guys were close in the playoffs the last couple years, but do playoff shortcomings over multiple seasons like that, does it make you question what you're doing, your workouts or work ethic? Do you question anything like that?
JAYLEN BROWN: I don't think so. I will always have unwavering faith even in the midst of situations that look like things are about to go in a direction that nobody wants to go in. I will always have faith in this group and in this organization and in myself that we'll be all right.
In those moments where we lost, I knew that we had so much to learn and that I had so much to learn. If anything, it was more encouraging to learn from my mistakes and get better for the next year. I didn't have any time to question myself or question what was in front of me because my belief was so strong.
Early in my career -- I'm five, six years in -- I haven't done too much questioning about anything, really.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports