Jaylen Brown grew up throughout an period when stars routinely participated within the dunk contest. Now a longtime All-Star, the Celtics wing is hopeful his resolution to do the dunk contest this 12 months will encourage the return of star energy to the occasion.
Brown would be the first All-Star participant since Victor Oladipo in 2018 to take part within the dunk contest when he takes half subsequent Saturday evening in Indianapolis, and he’s totally conscious.
“I wish there were more top players/athletes to compete in the dunk contest,” Brown mentioned. “I grew up watching that and that’s what I love. So hopefully that comes back around.”
After turning down invitations to the dunk contest when he was a rookie in 2017 after which once more in 2021, that is the 27-year-old Brown’s time to shine.
“Honestly, I think I’m in my athletic prime,” Brown mentioned. “And I think it’ll be fun.”
Brown mentioned he has by no means competed in a dunk contest, not even in highschool. He has began engaged on some concepts for his first one, however is aware of he’ll should get artistic.
“Everything has been done,” Brown mentioned. “I think just my approach is just to have fun with it and put my own little style, my own little swag on things. Everything has been done, but I feel like I bring a uniqueness. So I plan on putting my own style and bringing my own swag to it and just go from there.”
Brown shouldn’t be towards utilizing props. Earlier this week, Jayson Tatum – who will be part of Brown in Indianapolis as an All-Star – provided himself if his teammate needs to make use of him for a dunk. Brown is open to the concept.
“I may or may not use props,” Brown mentioned. “I got about six in the chamber or whatever, we’ll see which ones I end up going with, but definitely be on the look for JT to make an appearance. Definitely want to use the All-Star weekend, the fun activities to be able to build with your teammates and stuff and share some of that. If JT is available, for sure it will be fun.”
Fun within the solar
Kristaps Porzingis was not chosen as an All-Star harm substitute earlier this week as Trae Young and Scottie Barnes have been chosen to switch Joel Embiid and Julius Randle. But the Celtics large man shouldn’t be disenchanted. Now, he can take a while off for himself throughout the break.
“Of course there’s some, like, prestige in (being an All-Star) and maybe five years ago that was something that was always on my mind, but it doesn’t change anything,” Porzingis mentioned. “To be honest, there’s a big part of me that’s kind of happy I can go to Miami or somewhere where there’s sun, get some tan, lift some weights, prepare my body for the postseason for the rest of the season and then postseason. So there’s definitely some extra rest and extra time I can invest in my body to prepare for what’s coming, and get some tan also.”
Goodbye and hey
While Lamar Stevens and Dalano Banton didn’t play important roles on the court docket of their lone season with the Celtics, they have been nonetheless valued members of the locker room. That was clear after each have been traded this week.
Tatum awakened from a pregame nap on Wednesday to seek out out that Stevens, who was his locker room neighbor, had been traded within the take care of Memphis for Xavier Tillman.
“It’s tough,” Tatum mentioned. “This time of the year, with the trade deadline being tomorrow, losing a key guy to our team. Maybe didn’t play as much, but his personality and how hard he worked and a great teammate and everybody loved Lamar. … The locker room kind of did feel empty today coming into the game, he wasn’t here. Hopefully at his next stop that he gets an opportunity because he works extremely hard and we’re going to miss him.”
Joe Mazzulla went out of his method earlier than Friday’s recreation to level out Stevens’ and Banton’s contributions. Banton was traded to the Blazers at Thursday’s deadline for a second-round choose to permit the C’s to maintain an open roster spot after additionally buying and selling for Jaden Springer.
“I think the first step is acknowledge, any time you lose a couple guys from your organization, it’s tough and so we tried to talk about that today,” Mazzulla mentioned. “Just because those guys had a great attitude, they did what they’re supposed to do, they impacted winning in the chances that they got, and so it’s unfortunate. At the same time, it’s kind of the business.”
The Celtics welcomed Tillman and Springer, who every joined the staff in Boston on Friday and sat on the bench throughout the win over the Wizards. Brown is worked up about what each of them can carry to the desk.
“I just think they add to winning, from what I’ve seen in clips and even playing against them,” Brown mentioned. “What they bring from a toughness standpoint and defensive standpoint, I think this team definitely needed that for sure and to be able to do it and add to our rotation of players, it just adds another level of physicality that we need, so I think two great contributions and I welcome them to Boston.”
Payton Pritchard simply missed pulling off the seemingly unattainable feat of draining two half-court buzzer-beaters in the identical recreation on Friday. After banking within the first one to finish the primary quarter from past half-court, Pritchard corralled a rebound with two seconds remaining within the third, turned, took a dribble and launched a operating heave from past the midcourt emblem that went in, and TD Garden erupted. But it was sadly dominated late, as a video replay confirmed the ball was nonetheless in Pritchard’s palms when the clock expired.
But Pritchard nonetheless made some historical past. With his first-quarter heave, Pritchard turned the primary Celtics participant to hit a shot from 50 ft and past since Gerald Green on April 12, 2006, in keeping with NBC Sports Boston statistician Dick Lipe. …
Tillman (left knee soreness) and Springer (proper ankle impingement) stay out for Sunday’s recreation at Miami, so their Celtics debuts will proceed to attend. Heat star Jimmy Butler is questionable as a consequence of private causes.