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Jaylen Brown Calls The Celtics Environment 'Toxic' And I Can't Find The Lie

Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics

(CBS Boston) – There have been a lot of different adjectives thrown around to describe the 2018-19 Boston Celtics.

Disappointing. Frustrating. Depressing. They all apply for a team that was supposed to roll to a 55-60-win season and an Eastern Conference title, but wouldn’t even host a playoff series if the postseason started today. The team has lacked chemistry on the floor throughout the season, and most players make it sound like the season can’t end soon enough.

And now third-year guard Jaylen Brown has used the magic word that really hammers home the issues inside the Boston locker room: Toxic.

“To be honest, I’m not feeling good at all,” Brown told the Boston Globe out in California, where the C’s begin a four-game road trip Tuesday night with a tilt against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. “The losing, it’s not a good feeling. I’m not too good about that.

“Because right now it’s not good. It’s toxic. I can’t really point out one thing. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just going to try to be part of the change. I’m going to try to do my best. That’s all I’ve got to say,” he concluded.

Let’s get one thing straight, if Kyrie said this it would be headline news and the internet would explode. It would be the latest nugget that people use to try and continue to push the narrative that he’s leaving. That’s just a fact even if it’s completely unfair. As I read those quotes and then the rest of the article, I couldn’t find one thing Jaylen said that wasn’t true. I look at it like this, if the current situation with the Celts was going on with any other team in the league, we as Celtics fans would call it toxic and a disaster. Hell, it’s literally what we’re all saying about the Lakers as we try and deflect from our very own dumpster fire.

So much of this season has been about leadership or lack thereof. It’s been the one glaring consistent issue as we navigate through all this bullshit of the regular season. The vets chirp the kids, the kids push back and call out the vets, it’s been a back and forth that hasn’t helped anyone and really only made things worse. But as we sit here and wait for someone to step up and be a leader in an effort to try and turn things around, if you look at the last few months despite the losses, the one thing you can’t argue is Jaylen really has played well and done is part to try and turn things around. He’s been active defensively, he’s shooting 47% over this 10 game stretch, and honestly he’s one of the few that have let his actions do the talking which is refreshing.

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At the same time, I couldn’t help but think this was maybe his way of taking a little jab at someone who certainly wasn’t shy about calling out the kids earlier in the year. Especially this part

He said the environment needs to change inside the Boston locker room, but Brown added that it requires more than one guy to improve the situation.

“I just try to come out and play hard and hopefully that sparks some [change]. But it’s not just up to one person. It’s up to the whole group,” said Brown. “Everybody has to be on page. If one person’s not on page, it’s going to affect the whole group. I just try to come out and play hard and see where that leaves me.”

I think it’s pretty clear who the root of all the locker room drama is, so even if he says it’s not about one person I can’t honestly think he truly believes that. But instead of assigning blame he goes a different direction talking about how all he’s focused on is playing hard and hoping that rubs off on everyone else. That’s what a leader does in my opinion. Does he have his own shortcomings? Sure, he falls asleep on rotations at times, is slow to closeout shooters and can at times be a little out of control offensively. He’s certainly not perfect, but the Celtics don’t need to be perfect, they just need to play hard and taking that responsibility upon himself is a step in the right direction.

What I liked about his comments was it wasn’t fluff. We didn’t hear him avoid the situation and give us cliches or anything like that. He told the truth. Right now there may not be a more toxic environment in the entire league. The only way that’s going to be resolved is by winning, and in order to win they all have to get on the same page and play together. Why do you think every time Al or Brad speak it’s about staying together? Losses create drama which creates friction that can translate onto the court. We’re seeing it literally happen right now. In my opinion the only solution is accepting that things are trash right now, and even every individual player fully committing to fixing it. If that means that the guy who always seems to get blamed for everything has to show everyone else how to do that then so be it.

It starts tonight in GS. To be honest they don’t even have to win this game in order to turn things around, they just have to show for once that they are connected and give a full effort for 48 minutes. That’s how low the bar is right now, just don’t be completely pathetic and play a competitive game. Jaylen is doing his best to lead by example, now it’s up to everyone else to match it.