Jaylen Brown is headed to his first All-Star Game this weekend in Atlanta, not far from where he grew up in Marietta, Georgia. The fifth-year Celtics guard, who is averaging a career-high 24.7 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting (also a career-best), will take part in Sunday’s pre-game festivities as well, competing in the Mountain Dew Three-Point Contest alongside teammate Jayson Tatum.
Brown and Tatum will be on opposite sides for Sunday night’s game with Brown representing Team LeBron and Tatum starting for Team Durant. In selecting Brown for his All-Star squad, LeBron James was complementary of the versatile 24-year-old, describing him as “underappreciated.”
Speaking to the media after Thursday’s 132-125 triumph over Toronto (which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to four games), Brown’s eyes lit up when told he’d be playing for Team LeBron this weekend. “To have one of the—if not the best—player to ever play select you and point out some of the things that you’ve been doing, or some of the things that he’s seen is great,” said Brown. “I appreciate him for that. And playing against Jayson, that’s going to be fun.”
Though Brown wasn’t pleased with his performance Thursday night (he made only four shots), his 28-point effort, accomplished on blistering 13-of-19 shooting, against LeBron’s Lakers in late January clearly made a lasting impression. James selected Brown for his fourth bench spot, choosing him over Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine, among others still available at that juncture.
Hopefully Sunday’s visit to Atlanta goes better than Brown’s last trip to State Farm Arena, when the Celtics took it on the chin against the Hawks, losing 127-112 on February 24th.