Brown, Post-Surgery, Feels ‘Lighter, Faster, Stronger than Ever’
Despite undergoing wrist surgery in mid-May, Jaylen Brown claims to be feeling better than ever as he returns for his sixth NBA season with the Boston Celtics.
The 24-year-old wing tore the scapholunate ligament in his left wrist just ahead of the 2021 Playoffs, bringing a sudden and disappointing halt to his first All-Star campaign. However, once the surgery was complete, Brown picked himself up and made the most out of his offseason by continuing to grow his game.
“I never had surgery before, so this was a first for me,” a fully-healthy Brown said following Day 4 of Training Camp Saturday afternoon. “Definitely the mental part of it was interesting. The wrist takes so long to heal, it was kind of frustrating at times. But my body got a chance to heal, my mind got a chance to be refreshed, and right now I feel great. I feel lighter than ever, faster than ever, stronger than ever.”
The key to Brown improving his physical being was finding the right balance between rehab and development. Although the rehab process initially prevented him from developing his game on the court, he was still able to grow by studying off the court, often with Celtics assistant coach, Tony Dobbins. And then once he was cleared to dribble again, he began to apply his studies.
“My wrist surgery kind of was the emphasis and the focus, but I watched a lot of film,” said Brown. “Every time people talk about development, they think it’s like getting on the court and just running up and down for two hours until you’re gassed or something. But a lot of times, the visual practices can work just the same.
“For me, breaking film down, details, looking at guys that do things well and breaking them down and how they do them well and emulating them into your game.”
A lot of the film that Brown broke down centered around playmaking, as he believes the next step in his game is to become a better facilitator.
Last season, he averaged career-highs of 24.7 points, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game, while shooting career-best clips of 48.4 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from 3-point range, and 76.4 percent from the free-throw line. This season, he’s hoping to see all of those numbers rise again, especially in the assist department.
“There’s a few guys, especially in the playmaking department that I watched,” Brown said. “So I’m looking forward to going out and showing all the things that I watched.”
So far, he’s shown such improvement in camp according to Marcus Smart, who says that both Brown and Jayson Tatum have taken a step up with their facilitation skills.
“[JB] and JT both are focusing on making plays for others and not just for themselves,” said Smart, “which is going to be huge for us, because we know those two players can do it on their own and create their own shots. But so do the other teams. Teams understand that too and will force them to make plays. We’re proud of them and keep encouraging them.”
The most encouraging tidbit of all is that Brown is feeling back to 100 percent just four and a half months following a surgery that often takes up to six months to recover from. And not only is he feeling fully healthy, but he’s feeling better than ever before.
“Going into the year, my body feels fantastic,” Brown reiterated. “I feel rejuvenated, I feel athletic, I feel fast, I feel dynamic, so I'm ready to go.”