After Isaiah Thomas was traded by the Boston Celtics in part of a package for Kyrie Irving, a few of his former teammates expressed their disbelief and sadness to see him go.
Jaylen Brown echoed that sentiment recently, but took his reaction to the next level.
Questioning the identity of the Celtics organization, Brown offered up the following statement in an interview with Adam Caparell of Complex.
“It changes the whole dynamic, the whole culture,” he said. “We'll see if it's for good or bad, time will tell. But it's still a little weird to me, to be honest, because when I came in everything they stressed was culture, environment, Celtic basketball. Now, it's like what is the environment, the culture, what is Celtic basketball?”
Apparently he's not entirely sold that the team will be better after the trade. He explained his position further, toning down his words a bit.
“I think it's a great opportunity for me, great opportunity for the Celtics, great opportunity for Kyrie. Obviously, I loved Isaiah. He was like a big brother to me," Brown explained. "I watched him, admired him, the chip he carried on his shoulder, I love him. I still do. I've kept in contact with him. Congratulated him when he got traded to the Cavs. It's tough because it's the business we live in. Do I agree with it? Not necessarily. I think Isaiah definitely tried to plant his flag in Boston. He will definitely be missed -- he and Jae [Crowder] both. And Avery [Bradley], too. Those three guys are truly going to be missed. I love them and I thanked all of them for helping me out and said I'd see them down the line.”
With preseason schedules now underway, it was a bit surprising for a second-year player to question his team’s identity and culture publicly, especially since he plays for the Celtics, who have won an NBA-high 17 championships.
Nonetheless, it seems like he's focused on doing his part to help his team this season, even if it means suiting up with a new point guard.
It is fascinating to see how the trade still has lingering effects among some of the team’s players.
While being outspoken has its consequences at times, it has also proven to be beneficial for Brown. Despite the fact that he’s just 20 years old and in his second season, he lobbied the team to become the official union representative. Therefore, his pride in the club shouldn’t be questioned too much.
In the end, it appears that he simply misses Thomas' guidance and talent.