Nets guard Bruce Brown was born and bred in Boston, grew up cheering for the Celtics, a local son in each means. He nonetheless loves Beantown and calls it his metropolis.
Yet as Brown returns house for Friday’s first-round Game 3 at TD Garden – along with his Nets having fun with a 2-0 sequence lead – he admitted he had been subjected to the type of racism rising up in Boston that teammate Kyrie Irving had alluded to this week.
“When I was younger, I experienced a few things, for sure. I mean, it’s my city. You grow up and you try to get used to it, really not think about it too much,” Brown mentioned Friday morning. “I definitely in my high school days experienced a few things, for sure. But it’s tough. You get through it. I try not to worry about it too much.”
The 24-year-old Brown grew up in Dorchester, simply 5 miles from TD Garden, the place Irving is predicted to play in entrance of Celtics followers for the primary time since bolting Boston for Brooklyn in June 2019.
Irving – who spent two up-and-down years taking part in in Boston and earned the ire of the locals by saying he wished to remain earlier than doing an about-face – mentioned Tuesday he hoped the main target might keep on basketball and that TD Garden followers would eschew any “belligerence” and “racism.”
Celtics level guard Marcus Smart has backed up Irving’s assertions, recalling in a chunk revealed by The Players’ Tribune when a feminine fan – with an Isaiah Thomas No. 4 Celtics jersey on and a baby in tow – called him the N-word right outside the arena.
“I’ve heard a couple of them,” Smart mentioned Thursday. “It’s kind of sad and sickening because even though it’s an opposing team, we have guys on your home team that you’re saying these racial slurs and you’re expecting us to go out there and play for you.”
Brown confirmed he obtained a bitter style of it rising up in Boston. He was a three-sport star for Wakefield Memorial High School earlier than transferring to Vermont Academy, and recalled racist abuse suffered as a schoolboy.
“I mean, high school I was called a few names before, I was called a monkey before just because I was dating the opposite race at the time,” Brown mentioned. “So it was it was tough at the time, but now it’s just like, ‘Whatever.’”
Still, Brown – who averaged profession highs in field-goal share (.556) and rebounding (5.4) this season – was clear about how excited he was to be coming house, taking part in in TD Garden and seeing acquainted faces.
“Definitely a lot of excitement, see some of my family and my friends and then obviously playing back home is always big,” Brown mentioned.
“I used to come to a lot of games when I was younger. It was a period of time when they wasn’t really good and tickets were really low. And then the last game I went to was when Kobe [Bryant] played here and he destroyed them. That’s when I was young. I was like in my teenage years. I used to come to a few games, for sure.”
So Brown is aware of how loud and passionate the Celtics fanbase may be underneath unusual circumstances. Friday evening’s Game 3 and Sunday’s Game 4 – with TD Garden anticipated to be at near-capacity – shall be extraordinary.
That crackling vitality is certain to present the Celtics a lift. But Brown – who was a team-high mixed plus-64 in the final 4 regular-season video games, averaging 14.3 factors and 9.3 boards – has an answer to short-circuit it.
“We’ve just got to go out there and play hard, execute our game plan. We know what we need to do,” Brown mentioned. “So, go on the market, punch ’em in the mouth early, and that’ll work.
“Just really come out, play our game, stick to our game plan. Be physical with them and really I think we’ll take care of business.”