Jaylen Brown ended up being on the outside looking in when the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday, and he tried to not let it bother him.
Brown had garnered consideration on making his first All-Star team by averaging 20.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, but ultimately fell short of a selection as teammate Jayson Tatum got the nod over him along with Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis.
“Not disappointed,” said Brown after scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Boston Celtics 119-104 win over the Golden State Warriors. “I think it’s a lot of guys that they have to choose from. A lot of guys having a good year. It is what it is.”
Jaylen Brown on not making the All-Star team: "It's ok, keep working. Get ready for the playoffs. That's the stage that you want to be on" pic.twitter.com/G6JJSNh0KS— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 31, 2020
For Brown, missing out on this opportunity must frustrate him to some extent even if he isn’t showing it and saying all the right things. Brown is easily motivated and not being named an All-Star will certainly serve as fuel for the talented wing player to continue his steady rise in play and perform on the biggest of stages.
Brown even said so himself.
“For sure,” said Brown on if he would use not being selected as motivation. “I try to look for anything and everything as motivation, but it’s OK. Keep working, get ready for the playoffs. That’s the stage you want to be on.”
In his fourth NBA season, Brown has progressed into an adept scorer as he packs his elite athleticism into his muscular 6-foot-6, 223-pound frame.
Offensively, the 23-year-old and the Celtics No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft has made tremendous strides during the early stages of his career, especially with his shot making from beyond the arc. Brown has also proven to be an efficient scorer from within close and from long range, even more efficient than Tatum this season, albeit not by a significant amount.
Brown is making a career-best 49.5 percent of his shots this season — his ability to finish around the rim and through contact is a major reason why — and is shooting 39 percent on his 5.4 3-point attempts per game. Compared with Tatum, who will be making his first All-Star appearance, he is shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from deep.
While Tatum was a worthy All-Star selection, Brown not receiving the same recognition doesn’t diminish his play as he has been just as valuable to the Celtics not only so far this season, but going forward as well.
“Both those guys have played so well. It’s great to be in the conversation,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s too bad they both can’t go. From our standpoint, they’re both our All-Stars. We’re excited to play through them both.”