Celtics Jaylen Brown's Rising Star 35 points, skill development & Pluto time
Jaylen Brown was the high scorer in the Rising Stars Challenge with 35 points while also finishing second in rebounds with 10. Anyone who watched the game knows the event should be renamed Rising Stars Showcase. There is little challenge or competition involved.
Brown cemented three things as a rookie: He could defend almost every position, hit corner 3s, and post up smaller guards. Those ingredients alone make for an exciting modern NBA wing.
Brown has built atop that foundation. He's letting fly from above the arc, dusting dudes rushing to close out on him, cramming on fools in transition, and dipping his toes into secondary pick-and-roll duty:
Most players don't develop a bunch of high-level offensive skills at once. They build brick-by-brick, using one skill to enable another. Once you can shoot 3s, you can drive around defenders who run you off the arc. The leap from there to functional pick-and-roll work might be the hardest for wing players. It can take years. Some guys never make it. Brown entering the early stages already is a huge win for Boston.
But just when you think Jaylen Brown is spreading himself too thin and looking like the “too smart” guy who won’t pay enough attention to the game, as NBA scouts so charged him as he entered the draft, he takes the conversation to the rim and dunks hard.
“Yeah, I mean, I can hoop,” he said. “I can play, and I’m only going to get better. In my opinion, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. So everything else is patience, but I’m completely devoted and focused on basketball. You have so much time in the day; everybody chooses to spend their 24 hours different. And I just choose to take advantage of every second I’ve got in mine, so not only am I going to continue to get better on the basketball floor, and you’re going to see that, but I’m also going to continue to do stuff off the floor that I’m passionate about.
In the same conversation with Bulpett, Jaylen was not going to be eclipsed by Kyrie Irving and his Flat Earth Theory. Referring to his full use of a 24-hour day, Jaylen stated the following:
"On different places on the planet, time is faster. A day on Pluto is a year on Earth, or something like that. I could be wrong. I can do the research and find out. I might be accurate."
For the record, Brown did not graduate from the conversation summa cum laude. A day on Pluto is equal to 6.4 days in LA. But he has made his point that athletes shouldn’t be defined narrowly.
The joke among my family members is that I always do my research. They have a good time with it. Yes, it takes 6.4 of our days for Pluto to make a full rotation, and not an earth-year. But Pluto's gravity is one-fifteenth of earth's so time would move faster than here, and Brown would only weigh 15 pounds, allowing the following sky-high dunk to occur.
Things are never dull in Celtics Land, both on and off the court. As Lowe pointed out, Jaylen is developing his basketball skills all at once, and he is exploring off-the-court challenges at the same time. When I write about basic survival and longevity, I stress that lack of curiosity accelerates aging. If that holds true, Brown will remain youthful for a long, long time. Unless he moves to Pluto.