Jaylen Brown: Celtics Must Fix “Toxic” Environment

While Jaylen Brown has been fairly productive off the bench for the Celtics in recent weeks, logging some of his better performances of the season, he said this week that he’s “not feeling good at all” about the team’s overall play, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. According to Brown, the environment around the team needs to change.

“Right now it’s not good. It’s toxic,” Brown said. “I can’t really point out one thing. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just going to try to be part of the change. I’m going to try to do my best. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Brown is just the latest in a string of Celtics players to express frustration with the situation in Boston. Kyrie Irving has done so multiple times this season, Marcus Morris spoke last month about the club not having any “fun,” and Marcus Smart said last week that the team is “just not together.” Like those other players, Brown doesn’t know exactly what the solution is, but still believes the C’s are capable of turning things around.

“I still believe,” he said, per Washburn. “I think we’ve got time to get it together. I’m very optimistic and very positive and think that we will . . . We keep talking about it. I’m just going to try to do it with my play, come out and play hard and try to change the atmosphere and this environment.”

Let’s round up a few more Celtics-related items…

  • Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston revisits several of the defining moments of the Celtics’ 2018/19 season, tracing the evolution of the club from Eastern Conference frontrunner to vulnerable, middle-of-the-pack playoff team.
  • In an illuminating story for ESPN.com, Jackie MacMullan talks to Gordon Hayward and some people around him about the veteran forward’s long, challenging quest to regain his All-Star form. Hayward has been assisted by a mental health counselor during the process, as MacMullan details.
  • According to data compiled by Eric Pincus at Basketball Insiders, the Celtics sent $2,055,910 to the Hawks in last month’s Jabari Bird salary dump. That amount was more than enough to cover the remaining portion of Bird’s $1,349,383 salary for 2019/20, so Atlanta easily came out ahead. So did Boston though — Bird’s cap hit would have cost the team about $2.27MM in projected tax penalties.
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26 thoughts on “Jaylen Brown: Celtics Must Fix “Toxic” Environment

  1. southbeachbully

    I wonder if Kyrie has any regrets leaving Cleveland and I wonder if LBJ would’ve left had Kyrie stayed too?

    • Koby Altman asked LeBron if he would guarantee he would stay if they kept LeBron. He said no. That’s when they traded Kyrie. The Cavs did get IT, Crowder, Zizic, and Sexton for Kyrie. Then flipped Crowder, Shumpert, Frye, IT, and a 1st for Nance Jr., Hood, and Clarkson. Kyrie suffered through a bad Cavs team before. I don’t blame him for wanting to get out.
      If the Celts are to advance in the playoffs, they need more out of Hayward.

      • Change that to if they kept Kyrie. LeBron said no,then got upset and called Altman a liar saying he said he wouldn’t trade Kyrie and calls it the beginning of the end in Cleveland.

    • whodatcoon

      LBJ was moving to LA regardless. He is 34 and thinking about life after the NBA. Space Jam 2 filling this summer and all that.

  2. xabials a bad girl

    Kyrie is a cancer. He wants to be lebron and call shots but isn’t good enough and will break down quickly.

  3. zpgreen

    There are multiple issues here. First and foremost, Gordon Hayward has never regained his form or even anything close to it. Second, Kyrie’s impending free agency and his waffling has caused a huge cloud to loom over the team. Third, Tatum has taken a noticeable step back this year. Lastly, the team doesn’t seem to have anybody willing to truly step up and set an example and find a solution. This team is a mess right now, especially for being the preseason East frontrunner.

    I wonder how much blame should be put at Brad Stevens’ feet as well. As the coach, and with this much talent, he should be able to figure something out considering all the analysts and pundits claimed he was the next great coach in the NBA.

    • elcarim_23

      I do believe he is a great post season coach though. I think he is great when he has time to game plan around one team…but I think he is showing that he isn’t the greatest leader as a coach.

    • Reflect

      Yeah. I think he’s an excellent playmaker and all that as far as the development and strategy side. But maybe he can’t actually manage personalities.

      Some people are simply too hard and too negative. That’s what I always heard about Van Gundy as a coach.

  4. hiflew

    Forget Atlanta. Next time the Celtics want to salary dump, just trade them to my YMCA team. I would have happily taken over $2 million and paid Bird $1.35 million to play against the fat accountant I play against.

  5. PeterDipersio

    The Celtics may as well dismantle this team! Even if they were to reach the finals, they would not beat a golden state! Keep jaylen brown and Jason Tatum and the rest of everyone else including Kyrie should be expendable

    • southbeachbully

      No way can Ainge dismantle this team even if he wanted to. Took the Celtics too long to get to this point where all of those picks are now players. They have to push fwd and try and win now.

  6. Curtisrowe

    Pro Tip-Telling the press how awful things are doesn’t make things better.

  7. whodatcoon

    The Celtic’s outplayed their talent for several years, the fans were convinced that meant they were the best team in the East. Everyone says with all this talent blah blah blah, truly Kyrie is elite and that’s it. Everyone is good or not good on that team besides Kyrie (& he’s got a lot of problems). When Kyrie leaves this summer, and of course he will, several players have said it’s toxic, Ainge will have some big decisions to make.

  8. x%sure

    Irving wants the hero-ball style like he had in Cleveland. James waited for him to do what he wanted and the rest of the team waited for both. It was a system that worked, regardless of all the people complaining about it. James could control the flow. They could ice opponents when they got a lead.

    Brown wants things wide open, like it was during the African games in preseason. Tatum is twitchy and doesn’t know what he wants. Hayward’s not 100%. Horford cruises, he peaked in college, back to back champs, indomitable at UFla. Morris winds up looking the best when I see them this year.
    Just not an effective mix.

    I was watching some playoff cuts from last year vs the Bucks… just a different team. Coach Stevens was quite capable of winning slower-paced games in college, if that matters.

  9. rayzor

    Brad Stevens is a great coach. Look at last year. Getting within a minute of going to the finals without supposedly the two best players, with Brown missing a couple of playoff games, with Smart missing 4 games against Milwaukee, with Theis missing the playoffs. Even a great coach can’t overcome a cancer on the team (Kyrie). Unfortunately this team is in a catch 22. They can’t make it to the finals without Irving, and they may not win a playoff series with Irving.

  10. Wildboyz

    One player can change the dynamic of an entire team for better or worse.
    They have so many talented players, but from what I can tell, one of them thinks he is bigger than the team. It’s affected every players game and motivation.

  11. The problem is Boston fans and the media (and perhaps NBA fans generally, and maybe even some of Boston’s pseudo stars) have bought into a myth that Boston was great last year without KI. Truth is they were barely good. I think 9-7 after he went down (which means 46-20 with him), with most of the wins coming against bottom 10 teams. Prior to his injury, they were a bad offensive team when he wasn’t on the court. They barely got by a mediocre Bucks team in the 1st round. They were heavy ‘dogs against Philly going into that series despite home court. Yes, they played great against the Sixers (who they seem to own, thanks mostly to the two coaches) and it carried over into the Cavs series until regression took over. But series and a half doesn’t define a team.

    The Celts are well coached (in an X and O sense), play excellent defense, run great sets and at times are great at using ball movement to overcome their lack of play makers. All good. But it’s fueled the myth. Never good. Too many of their players (not KI) believe they are better than they are. Reality (vs myth) is they have one AS, and he’s a truly elite one. Granted, he’s not much of a leader (few NBA stars of this generation are, including the only role model KI had in that regard). The only other player they have that I think will ever get close to playing in a future AS game is Tatum (and I think he will, and pretty soon, but that’s the future). That’s not what a “great” team looks like that at the top of its roster.

    • whodatcoon

      Tatum is far from an All Star lock. He looked like a young star on the rise last year. He’s obviously taken a step back this season, it may be the toxic environment in Boston, but instead of a better second year he is worse.

      • Agreed, he’s not a lock. But his regression this year from a great rookie season at 19-20 years old hasn’t be more than should have been expected. The sophomore jinx is (obviously) not a jinx, but it does speak to the general expectation that a player that greatly out performs as a rookie, will face challenges the 2nd time around, and that those shouldn’t suggest that the rookie year was a fluke (otherwise they’d call it a “fluke” or “coming back to Earth” from one – not a “jinx”).

    • rayzor

      I have said before, The Celts can’t win the East without Kyrie, and probably won’t win a series with him(depending whether Philly shows up to play). He is a poor teammate, and is a big part of the reason Tatum, Brown, Rozier, Morris are not as good as we expected.

  12. dust44

    Kyrie is definitely leaving. And I really think he goes somewhere no one will expect. I definitely don’t think LA is an option anymore. He’s not having a good time with the media in Boston. Let alone going to NY or LA. If he does go to LA it will be because LeBron takes a lot of the spot light off the other guys with the media. Sometime u don’t know how good u had it till u leave.

  13. oneiblnd

    Generally when teams get to this point and can’t figure out what’s the problem. The problem is right in front of them. Meaning, players on the floor have to play both ends of the court. The difficulty is having to sub when you need a scorer when the player or players aren’t getting the job done. Look at LBJ. He wants to point fingers but is a slacker when it comes to playing de.

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