Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown will make his NBA debut after a positive COVID. He is expected to start for the Boston Celtics on opening night against the Detroit Pistons. This has been a long time coming, as he was selected 2nd overall in the 2016 draft and signed with Boston at 19 years of age.
1:41 p.m. Eastern
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps
NEW YORK (WABC) — Coach Ime Udoka indicated that Boston Celtics player Jaylen Brown, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 8, will start Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks.
Brown, who was categorized as doubtful on Tuesday afternoon, claimed he was suffering from “some moderate symptoms for the most part,” including breathing problems that he overcame with the use of meditation.
“My breathing was the most alarming,” Brown added. “I had to concentrate hard to bring my breathing back to normal…. However, the more I concentrated on it, the more I was able to improve my efficiency.”
Brown said the Celtics have equipped him with an inhaler in case he needs it, but he’s hoping he won’t need it on Wednesday night (TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET).
“For the most part, I’m feeling very well,” Brown remarked. “There are definitely worries, such as the potential of injury, after just getting out of quarantine and ratcheting up the energy level. Because this is the NBA, some coaches are afraid that it may be too soon.”
Josh Richardson (migraine) and center Al Horford, who both tested positive for COVID-19, will miss Wednesday’s game. Horford’s comeback is unknown at this point, although Udoka said that he is in good physical shape and that Grant Williams will start with Tatum, Brown, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams.
Brown said he and Jayson Tatum are ready to take on the job of bringing the Knicks back to the top of the Eastern Conference, despite the fact that former teammate Kemba Walker will be on the other side for the Knicks.
Brown said, “Absolutely.” “It brings a grin to my face.” As my mother will tell you, I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge in my life. And Jayson exudes the same vigor.
“So we may not be shouting from the mountaintops, but we definitely appreciate and are fortunate to be in that position, and we are thrilled to tackle it head on.”
In Boston, the offseason was marked by change. Danny Ainge, the team’s long-serving president of basketball operations, resigned and was replaced by Brad Stevens, the team’s long-serving coach. In the weeks that followed, Stevens traded Walker in exchange for Horford’s return, and he appointed Udoka as the new coach.
All of those transactions were made with the goal of reshaping the franchise around Brown and Tatum, the team’s star wing duo who, according to the Celtics, rivals any in the league.
Brown is looking forward to seeing how he and his teammates handle the first few weeks of the season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we handle adversity,” Brown remarked. “Obviously, Celtics fans, journalists, and the media want us to come out and simply dominate and be the greatest team of all time,” he says. But we still have some things to work on and work through, and I’m looking forward to navigating the winds and being a voice in the boys’ ears because I’ve seen and experienced it. Continue to persist and be optimistic.
“It’s going to be a long season, dude. All we have to do now is play the games, regardless of the excitement on paper or what others are saying. We’ll just concentrate on showing up every day, doing your job, and putting our instincts on defense, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Brown expressed gratitude for the time he spent in Boston with Walker, saying he learned a lot from his pick-and-roll “wizardry.”
When asked why things “didn’t work” between the Celtics and Walker, who was dealt two years after accepting a max contract as a free agency, Brown pushed back.
Brown answered, “I believe that’s subjective.” “I believe it was successful. Injuries had a significant role. We made it to the Eastern Conference finals with Kemba, only a few of games and plays away from making it to the NBA Finals.
“So that’s a personal choice. I believe it worked, I think we meshed, and although I don’t think we got all we wanted, I don’t think that’s on him. It wasn’t because of him, I don’t believe. I just don’t think so.”
Udoka, on the other hand, stated he had no strong feelings about his first official NBA game. He mentioned he had a good night’s sleep on Tuesday and that this is a lot easier than playing games.
“I guess maybe my staff is astonished or anything, but it is what it is,” Udoka joked. “My playing career, and I’ve gone through a lot as a player, was probably a lot more difficult than this. As a result, I was somewhat prepared. But, having spent the previous several years [as an assistant coach] in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, I believe it has prepared me for a variety of scenarios, and that’s always been my attitude.”