MILWAUKEE – When Jaylen Brown ventured down to the Bahamas over the All-Star break to attend the annual winter meeting of the Board of the NBA Player Representatives, he had no idea that he would be returning the following week with a new and prestigious title.
At the meetings, Brown was voted on by his peers to become a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, a position of which carries a three-year term.
“It was pretty dope,” Brown said of his election Wednesday evening as he joined the Celtics for their first post-All-Star break practice in Milwaukee. “I wasn’t expecting to win, to be honest. There were some people with some bigger names who were running, but it was cool to get voted in.”
At age 22, Brown is four years younger than any other member of the NBPA's Executive Committee, which consists of a president, a first vice president, a secretary-treasurer and six vice presidents.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens thinks that it’s remarkable that Brown has been able to propel himself into such a high-ranking position in just his third NBA season, but it also comes as no surprise to the coach who has seen his young wing blossom into a highly-regarded individual among his peers.
“Jaylen is a guy that I think everyone around the league respects,” Stevens said. “It’s an honor to be selected for a position like that. And when you’re 22, it’s an even bigger honor. But I think that he’s a guy that puts in a lot of time and thought – everybody knows that – and you want somebody like that representing you. So, it’s great for him. I’m very happy for him and I know that that’s stuff that he’ll do great work with.”
Brown has displayed an interest in being a voice for his peers ever since he stepped foot into the NBA.
During his second Summer League session in Las Vegas, he hosted “Jaylen Brown’s Welcome to the NBA Night,” a gathering that allowed young NBA players and hopefuls to exchange ideas in regard to maximizing their opportunities as professionals. It’s rare for any player, let alone a second-year player, to put on such an event, but not for a guy of Brown’s ambition and character.
“He’s a guy that is very mature beyond his years and that was something that right away I was able to see,” observed Al Horford, who has been a teammate of Brown since the Cal-Berkeley product entered the league in 2016.
With that type of makeup, teammate Kyrie Irving believes that Brown will be a perfect fit for the vice president role.
“He’s young, he’s smart and he understands the business,” Irving said. “He still has a long way to go of just understanding the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and what goes on in the business behind the scenes in the NBA and the Players Association, and I’m just happy for him that he’s going to get that type of knowledge.”
Brown is one of three vice president additions to the NBPA, along with Hornets center Bismack Biyombo and Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon. Those three replaced Carmelo Anthony, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala, the latter of whom replaced LeBron James as First Vice President under President Chris Paul.
“Malcolm, Jaylen and Bismack have all shown a great commitment to the union since they arrived in the league,” Paul said in a statement. “I have no doubt they will bring a fresh perspective and passion to the Executive Committee and I am excited to start working with them.”
Prior to his election, Brown had served as the Boston Celtics player representative for the NBPA. Horford views his rapid ascension into a vice president role as a sign of even greater things to come.
“I just think he wants to be great in regard to the game and in every facet of it,” Horford said. “I can probably see him being the future president of the union.”
Brown, though, doesn’t want to look too far ahead at the moment. He’s excited for the responsibilities that await him in his new post, and also just wants to focus on the season at hand.
“It was pretty cool to be voted for VP, but I’m not even thinking to the next (step),” Brown responded when asked if his sights are set on the presidential position. ”I’m not really thinking five years down the line. I’m just trying to do my job right now, (focus on) the season right now with the Celtics.”
Vice President Brown will have the opportunity to do just that, as he and the Celtics return from break Thursday night to take on the first-place Milwaukee Bucks.
addByline("Taylor C. Snow", "Celtics.com", "taylorcsnow");