‘Goggles Jaylen’ Joins Celtics' Headgear Club
SAN ANTONIO – Three and a half weeks ago, Celtics Nation was introduced to “Masked Kyrie.” Now, meet “Goggles Jaylen.”
Jaylen Brown, who missed Wednesday’s game against Dallas because of an inflamed right eye, will debut a new look Friday night, as he plans to wear protective eyewear when his Boston Celtics take on the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center.
The 21-year-old forward explained Friday morning that the injury was caused by a negative reaction to his contact lenses.
“They just really irritated my eyes,” Brown told reporters prior to Celtics shootaround. “It didn’t get infected or anything, but I woke up [Wednesday] and I couldn’t open it. I couldn’t see, so I couldn’t play.”
Brown was told that he could sleep in this specific pair of contact lenses, which he has been doing for the last four or five months. Due to the reaction, however, he says won’t be able to wear contacts for the foreseeable future.
“I can’t put contacts back in my eye because you don’t want it to continue to be irritated,” said Brown. “Because then it can get infected, and if it gets infected, you can lose your sight. I don’t want to mess around with that, so I’ll be wearing goggles until further notice.”
Brown was fitted for the goggles Thursday night after the team landed in San Antonio. He said that he was planning to try on multiple pairs during shootaround in order to find the most comfortable option.
“I told my mom and she got a kick out of it,” Brown said with a smile. “She thought it was pretty funny. I told her I might go with the retro specs like the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s. She is a supporter of that.”
Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, joked that he is not a big supporter of the idea of his teammate wearing goggles. Irving, himself, has had to don headgear during the last 12 games, after fracturing a bone in his face during a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. He’s been wearing a protective, plastic mask, which he openly despises, but thankfully will not have to wear again after Friday’s game.
In the meantime, the All-Star point guard jocularly stated that he’s not excited to have Brown join him in the headgear club.
“No, I’m not looking forward to Jaylen being in the goggles,” Irving said with a laugh and a shake of his head. “I already told him, first possession that I pass him the ball and he does something that’s not Jaylen Brown-like, I’m not passing him the ball (again)."
"Obviously I’m joking," added Boston's leading scorer. "But I told him that.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens can relate to Brown's headgear situation, as well. When coaching at Butler University, he, too, dealt with a contact issue, which caused him to miss a game and prompted him to wear glasses for a while on the sidelines.
“The day that it happened to me, it was in the middle of a game, and both eyes were infected from a bad contact case,” Stevens recalled. “I actually left at halftime. I couldn’t see the other side of the court. It was insane. So I kind of knew what [Brown] was going through. I don’t know if it was the exact same thing, but those eye things are scary.”
Fortunately, Brown’s inflammation has improved, so he plans to suit up Friday night when the C’s take on the Spurs. Stevens anticipates that the young forward will wear goggles for at least a week, which means Boston’s headgear club will live on for a little bit longer.