Jaylen Brown took a page out of Joe Mazzulla’s book Friday morning when discussing his second NBA All-Star selection: he's appreciative of the individual honor, but more focused on his team and their collective goals for the rest of the season.
Like many of us, Brown learned of his selection via Twitter Thursday night after the seven reserves from both conferences were announced on TNT. He took a moment to internalize the news and be thankful for the recognition before returning his concentration to preparing for Friday night's matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m grateful,” Brown told reporters Friday morning of his second All-Star selection. “But at the same time, there’s a lot more important things to worry about.”
One thing that Brown doesn’t worry about is getting caught up in the All-Star voting hubbub. As much as he appreciates the fans, the media, and his NBA peers, all of whom have a say in the voting process, he doesn’t let their perception of his worth get to his head. He, himself, is the only critic that he needs.
“From a mental standpoint, I’ve kind of just gotten a habit of not letting others determine my value,” he said. “People give you accolades, or people criticize you, but I try to stay the same. I’ve kind of got a habit of that. So forgive me if I’m not showing my excitement because I’m extremely grateful.”
Brown will be one of 12 Eastern Conference All-Stars headed to Salt Lake City for the Feb. 19 exhibition, and he’ll be joining Celtics teammate and East starter Jayson Tatum for the second time. They’ll be part of the selection process between captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James which, for the first time ever, will take place right before the game's tip-off.
This will be the second time in three years that Brown will be representing Boston in an All-Star capacity after also doing so during the 2020-21 season when he averaged 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
He was left out last season despite a pre-All-Star stat line of 23.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 3.3 APG.
However, there was no way he’d be snubbed this season when averaging career-highs of 27.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, along with 3.2 APG. In fact, he was nearly chosen as an East starter, finishing only behind Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell in the voting.
Despite all of that, Brown isn’t letting his All-Star status cloud his vision of the bigger picture at hand, regarding his team’s quest for an NBA championship. He’s pointed out recently how he doesn’t allow the day-to-day highs and lows to get to his head because doing so could cause a player to get off track.
As an example, he referenced not getting too down after missing two critical free throws against New York Knicks last week, and not getting too high when he redeemed himself the following game when he sank a critical free throw to send the Celtics to overtime against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It’s all about the next day,” Brown said of his mindset. “So when it was All-Star (announcement) yesterday, it’s all about the next day. And we play Phoenix tonight.”
Brown can be as nonchalant as he’d like about his All-Star selection, but his fans and teammates are surely excited for him. He deserves to be back on stage with the biggest stars in the game because he’s among the best of them.