The Celtics arrived at the NBA’s bubble in Orlando on Wednesday and Jaylen Brown is locked in.
The young forward deactivated his Instagram account not long after the Celtics touched down in Florida.
“I’m not trying to be on social media,” Brown told reporters via Zoom on Friday. “I deactivated my Instagram account, not because I feel like it is a distraction. But until I get a routine, I want to not pick up bad habits and things like that.”
Brown’s decision to log off Instagram before the playoffs start isn’t uncommon. Lakers star LeBron James stayed off social media during the playoffs over the last few years, saying he’s “activating Zero Dark Thirty-23 Mode.” Isaiah Thomas also stepped away from social media during his playoff appearances with the Celtics in 2016 and 2017.
“I’m just trying to really lock in and have no distractions,” Thomas told reporters of his decision in 2016. “Social media, you can have a big game and they love you; have a bad game, they’ll tear you apart. I just want the least amount of distractions for myself. And just try to really lock in and stay in the moment.”
While it is unknown how much correlation there is between logging off social media and how well a player plays in the playoffs, the move certainly couldn’t have hurt for James and Thomas. James has made the Finals every time he’s “activated” his social media playoffs silence, which started in 2013. He’s won two titles in that span. Thomas had a playoff run to remember in 2017 when he led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals, which included a 53-point performance in one of their wins against the Washington Wizards.
Brown’s Twitter account is still activated, but he hasn’t sent a tweet out since he retweeted a LeBron James tweet June 23.
Brown, who has used his social media accounts to raise awareness to social injustices in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, said he wants to find a purposeful way to pass the time while he’s in the bubble.
“I feel like we’re down here with a purpose,” Brown said. “I want to educate myself. Spend time doing research, spend time talking to my teammates or other people in the NBA trying to figure out how we can all come together and use our time to divert our attention to things outside of basketball.
Jaylen Brown on the bubble conditions: “I’m not going to do too much complaining — or do any complaining at all, to be honest. I come from humble beginning just like everybody else. It’s not exactly what we’re accustomed to, but that’s fine.” pic.twitter.com/m1a3FmIkwc
“While we’re down here, we got nothing but time. So I’m trying to make myself available to any players that are around and might have questions or anything they want to build off of, and also my teammates as well. So we can figure out ways to put our heads together and be a part of change.”
When teams first entered the bubble Tuesday night, pictures of the food served to players were leaked and met with backlash on social media.
However, Brown said he won’t complain much about life in the bubble.
“It was an interesting experience [entering the bubble],” Brown said. “I’m not going to do too much complaining, or do any complaining at all, to be honest. I come from humble beginnings just like everybody else. It’s not exactly what we’re accustomed to, but it’s fine.”
The Celtics will play three scrimmage games (starting July 24 against the Oklahoma City Thunder) before resuming the regular season July 31 when they face the Milwaukee Bucks.