Months after the trade, Jaylen Brown expressed it clearly this time. Not in a mocking way either. As Brown reflected on his history with Marcus Smart, he confessed that he couldn’t tolerate Smart upon his arrival in Boston during the 2016 draft. Their relationship had its ups and downs.
When CelticsBlog/CLNS Media approached Brown about their connection on Sunday, he stated, “I love him now.” “On occasion, it can be that way. Things about people, their motivations, and the inner workings of their minds become clear as young men age and gain life experience. In general, you can better grasp another person’s point of view if you have the opportunity to learn about them more in this environment.
Jaylen Brown made reference to a myriad of reasons—you name it—for why they got off to a bad start in their careers, but he never said why. Hours prior to their first meeting since the shocking June trade that sent Smart to Memphis in a three-team trade for Kristaps Porziņčis, the statements were made. Malcolm Brogdon was instead included in the deal when the previous one with Washington and the Clippers fell through. In the first game of a back-to-back, Brown’s Grizzlies took on the Spurs last night, so he contacted Marcus Smart.
After hurting his left foot and ankle on Tuesday after stepping on Austin Reaves’ foot during Tuesday’s game against the Lakers, Smart will not play on Sunday. A devastating setback to a Memphis squad waiting for Ja Morant’s return from suspension in December, the Grizzlies (who started 2-9 overall) ruled out Smart for three to five weeks. As a longtime teammate and perennial champion, Smart’s loss in Memphis upset Jayson Tatum.
Tatum expressed his frustration with seeing him play for a different team while watching Memphis play. “To this day, it seems a bit amusing.”
When Tatum heard Brown admit, “oh s***,” he grinned.
If you want to love Smart, you have to learn to love him, Tatum told CLNS/CelticsBlog. His intentions are good, but he’s just a different guy. That will become clear to you after spending sufficient time with him. After six seasons together, we began to spend more time together off the court, and our friendship blossomed. There are a lot of wonderful memories because I got to meet his family and his wife.
The Celtics’ head coach and president Joe Mazzulla as well as Brad Stevens were among those who attended Smart’s wedding in Los Angeles that followed the trade in the summer, along with Brown, Tatum, and a slew of teammates. After Boston supposedly assured him he was good, Smart informed CLNS Media that the move had caught him entirely unawares. However, he did admit that he anticipated being reassigned at some point. Certainly not the Jays.
Unprompted, Smart said that he and Brown are on good terms following the trade rumors and Brown’s silence on social media about the transaction. According to Brown, who was unaware of the rumor’s existence, he would not have addressed it had it been brought up on Sunday.
According to Marcus Smart, Jayson and Jaylen will always be his brothers. I don’t think the public has a good enough picture of our relationship as it is. We’ve weathered the storm and survived the fire together. After my mom died away, J.B. was on the plane that went to Dallas to attend the funeral. Now that the rumors have spread that J.B. and I had an argument, I simply want to put an end to them. None of my teammates or anybody else on the Celtics has my back; not only do I love them, but they love me back. Brotherhood binds us.
Between those two occasions, any lingering animosity washed away, and Marcus Smart got ready to start again in a new city, facing a rival team that had long used a similar style of play as its trademark. He did a solid job at point guard in Morant’s absence, but Bismack Biyombo was just added to the roster after the team unexpectedly benched Steven Adams at the end of training camp. Last year, Brandon Clarke was unable to play due to an achilles tear. The suspension of Morant was already difficult enough without having to contend with Jaren Jackson Jr.’s erratic play or the unresolved wing position.
Nobody anticipated such a challenging beginning, though. Seeing Marcus Smart on the other side of the court, dealing with another injury, will probably be a tough sight for everyone who played, worked with, or cheered for the long-time fan favorite, especially with his old Celtics team leading the league after adding Jrue Holiday and Porziņčis.
“I am aware of my relationships and my values,” Brown stated. So long as we keep it at that, it is a discussion on a lot of global events. That’s simply the generation in which we live, but the fact that he feels compelled to publicly speak out adds an extra layer of significance… I have witnessed Marcus’s growth and development as a person over the years, and he has done the same for me. Upon arriving in Boston, I must admit that I wasn’t very fond of Marcus Smart. However, as time went on, I began to see how much we share in common. I would call Marcus first if I were to go to battle with anyone.