Jaylen Brown explains why he ‘couldn’t stand’ Marcus Smart initially and loves him now

"If I was going to war with anybody, Marcus would be one of my first phone calls."

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart battle for possession. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Jaylen Brown “wasn’t the biggest fan” of Marcus Smart when Brown first arrived in Boston and said their relationship “didn’t start off great.”

Brown, speaking to reporters before the Celtics-Grizzlies game Sunday, said he didn’t gravitate toward Smart initially for “a plethora of reasons.” He explained how their bond has evolved for the better over the years.

“I couldn’t stand Marcus at first … and I love him now,” Brown said. “It be like that sometimes.”

Brown said that as you grow, you learn about people and understand why they are the way they are. You see things happen behind closed doors and start to grasp the bigger picture, which is what shaped his opinion of Smart.

Brown believes that getting to know people, and understanding their perspective, leads to an important healing process and genuine connection. He said he gave Smart a call Saturday night while the Grizzlies were in San Antonio.


“Over time, I realized that me and Marcus have similar spirits,” Brown said. “If I was going to war with anybody, Marcus would be one of my first phone calls.”

Sunday was supposed to be Brown and Smart’s first meeting as competitors, but Smart is out three to five weeks with a foot injury.


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