Celtics

Jaylen Brown on being named a ‘Bostonian of the Year’: ‘I’m trying to be a part of this community’

Brown was selected for his work as an activist.

Jaylen Brown of the Celtics warms up in a VOTE shirt prior to a game against the Miami Heat. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Most Celtics fans know by now that Jaylen Brown is a dedicated social activist.

Brown has used his platform as an NBA player to shed light on racial injustices, education reform, and other social issues. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Brown drove 15 hours from Boston to his native Georgia to be a part of a protest march in Atlanta.

For his work as an activist, Brown was named one of six “Bostonians of the Year” by Globe Magazine earlier this week. Brown received “The Role Model” title among the winners.

Even though Brown doesn’t think community work should be rewarded like that, he said he was honored and looks to provide more to the Boston community in the years to come.

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“I’ve been in Boston for five years, and I’m a Bostonian now in a sense,” Brown told reporters Saturday. “It’s a major time of my life I’ve spent in Boston now. I’m trying to be a part of the solutions and not the problems here, and trying to see where I can help out because it takes a community, and I’m trying to be a part of this community. I’m definitely trying to get more engaged and see where I can help out the most.”

Brown also views himself as a leader on the court, embracing the challenges that lay ahead of him this season.

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“I think I’ve always been a leader in a sense,” Brown said. “Whether it’s on-court or off the court, it’s just natural. It’s not anything that’s unfamiliar to me. It’s just now the opportunity’s being presented, and you just gotta step into that role.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens admires the leadership that Brown brings. Stevens said that Brown’s already a great leader despite being just 24 years old because he’s “willing to serve other people,” sets a “great example,” and is “authentic.”

“I think he’s a person who really is all about all the good stuff,” Stevens said of Brown. “I think that he’s already a good leader. And I think he will become one of the game’s better (leaders) over the course of time.”

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Brown has already caught the eye of Jeff Teague as well. Teague, who signed with the Celtics at the end of November, is impressed by Brown’s and Jayson Tatum’s leadership abilities and their play on the court.

“He’s got a great heart, man,” Teague said. “When I first got here, he was the first guy to call me and tell me, if I needed anything, he’d show me around the city and let me know anything. That’s just the kind of person that he is.

“Since I’ve been here, he’s texted me every day, seeing if I was cool, if I needed anything, where to go to eat, what’s a cool spot to order in from, and things like that. So that’s just the kind of person he is, and I think we all know that he’s a special person.”

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