Paul Pierce thinks Jaylen Brown might want to be ‘the guy’ on a team


“There are a lot of factors that go into the mindset of a player of his caliber because we know he’s a top player in this league.”

Paul Pierce thinks Jaylen Brown might want to take on the challenge of being a team’s star player. Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

Jaylen Brown’s recent comments in a pair of different profile pieces have many wondering if he will stay with the Celtics when his contract expires after the 2023-24 season.

Brown specifically told Logan Murdock of The Ringer that his future in Boston “is not up to me”, adding that: “We’ll see what they think of me over time and I think of them over time. “Hopefully, whatever it is, it makes sense. But I’ll stay where I’m wanted. I’ll stay where I’m needed and I’ll be treated right.”

Celtics legend Paul Pierce thinks Brown’s comments could be a signal to him that he might want a bigger role than he couldn’t get in Boston, citing a pair of other star players from his playing days who did the same.

“Maybe Jaylen wants the opportunity to be ‘the guy,'” Pierce said in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio’s “The Starting Lineup with Frank Isola and Brian Scalabrine”. “We’ve seen that for years as guys left teams. Think James Harden. James Harden wouldn’t be James Harden if he didn’t leave [the Oklahoma City Thunder]. Tracy McGrady wouldn’t have turned into a T-Mac if he hadn’t left Toronto. We never know. Maybe that’s on Jaylen’s mind or maybe he’ll stick around.

“There are a lot of factors that go into the mindset of a player of his caliber because we know he’s a top player in this league. Maybe he wants to have the opportunity to see if he can be ‘the guy’ or who knows.”

On the court, some stats might suggest Brown is more of a 1B than Jayson Tatum’s 1A. He’s shooting just one fewer shots per game than Tatum so far this season (Brown has 20.4 field goal attempts per game compared to Tatum’s 21.3 field goal attempts per game) and his usage percentage (31.1 %) is less than two percentage points lower than Tatum’s. (32.9). That wasn’t necessarily the case for Harden, who was third in the pecking order in his final season with the Thunder, and McGrady, who had about eight fewer shot attempts per game than Vince Carter in his final season. with the Raptors.

However, Tatum is generally considered the face of the franchise. Tatum is the only Celtics player with a max contract and regularly earns “MVP” chants, even in games where Brown outplays him.

While Brown has thrived this season, scoring a career-high 26.7 points per game, Pierce believes the Celtics’ star duo are playing well together, but noted that Brown could also take on the duties of being “the guy. “, if that’s what he wants.

“I think they understand each other very well,” Pierce said. “I think they elevate each other. He doesn’t get the same touches on the ball every time that Jayson Tatum does. He’s, I think in my opinion, just as equipped to take the same kind of responsibility if given the gives the opportunity.

Brown declined to elaborate on his comments when speaking to reporters on Friday.

“I’m going to expand at some point, but right now I’m just focusing on my team and getting ready for the playoffs,” Brown said. “Everything I consider a distraction. So right now that’s my main focus, getting my guys ready to go. At some point I will expand. It’s not the time right now.”

Brown’s comments certainly don’t seem like much of a distraction for the Celtics. Since Brown’s comments were made public on Tuesday, the Celtics have won both games in convincing fashion, beating the second-seeded Western Conference Kings 132-109 and the Pacers 120-95. Brown scored 27 points in the two games, shooting 10 of 16 from the field against the Kings and 10 of 23 from the field against the Pacers.


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