Kevin Garnett has been keeping an eye on the Boston Celtics during the 2022 NBA playoffs. Considering he played for the team from 2007 to 2013 and the franchise retired his number on March 13, 2022, it makes sense that he still has ties to the Celtics nearly 10 years after his last game for them.
When the Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors on June 2, 2022 and went 1-0 up in the 2022 NBA Finals, Garnett thanked his former team for their resilience. Garnett also called out Brown for his Game 1 performance.
“Call the C’s. (In) the third quarter they stayed in. They took the big hits, you know what I mean? They stayed in it, stayed together. Jay Brown got it started and then the momentum and the rest is history! But anything can happen. Shout out to the C’s in the first game.”
In 38 minutes, Brown had 24 points on 10-for-23 shooting from the field, as well as seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. With plus-22 he had the highest plus-minus among the starters. Brown did the most damage in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points and dishing out all five of his assists.
Brown and Garnett have previously revealed that they have a relationship.
Brown and Garnett interacted during Garnett’s ceremony
The Celtics played the Dallas Mavericks on the day of Garnett’s retirement ceremony. During that game, Jaylen Brown had an emphatic dunk over Maxi Kleber. After the dunk, Brown high-fived Garnett, who was sitting right on the edge.
The Celtics ended up losing that game, but it was funny to see current and former Celtics display a sense of camaraderie because sequences like that don’t come around all that often.
Before the game, Garnett visited the Celtics locker room where he showed his relationship with Brown and Marcus Smart before the game.
Brown admitted that Garnett is his spirit animal
Jaylen Brown began his NBA career just as Kevin Garnett ended his. Although Garnett had just retired when Brown came into the league, Brown has acknowledged Garnett’s past influence on him as a basketball player.
On June 30, 2020, Brown addressed the impact Garnett had on Brown as a basketball player, even naming Garnett his soul animal.
“As a young person, I respect how he behaved on the pitch and his behavior,” Brown said. “I think that’s how the game should be approached… The energy he brought to the game is my spirit animal. I love it. I don’t always embody it like KG did, but this is someone I’ll definitely be tapping into in the future.”
Brown said that while he doesn’t believe he and Garnett have similar playing styles, he said he models his approach to the game after Garnett.
“He’s someone I’m definitely inspired by… I think we play in two different positions but I’d like to align my approach with his. Hopefully we’ll be looked at more alike later, but he’s someone I’m definitely chasing.”