clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cal in the NBA: Jaylen Brown invited to dunk contest, gives moving MLK Day speech

New, 2 comments

Hey now!

NBA: Preseason-Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Brown has enjoyed a solid rookie season in the NBA. A regular rotation player with the Boston Celtics, Brown has come off the bench and becoming a solid wing player who can attack in transition and provide solid defensive energy.

Brown has also become one of the best in-game dunkers in the NBA, and the league has taken notice. He was apparently formally invited to the Slam Dunk contest.

Brown is debating whether he should go or not.

“I'm not really worried about anybody or anything. I think I have a lot to offer,” Brown said. “It's just, with your rookie year, your body, it's just a lot. It may seem foolish, all those dunks and stuff, they look cool, but it takes a toll on your body, for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help this team. The dunk contest -- it may or may not take from it because I don't think it's good or bad. It's just something you got to decide about.”

On more serious matters, Brown has also expressed his social conscience in the league, and I figured his words would be appropriate to share. Earlier this week he gave a moving pregame speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“The day we choose to be silent about the things that matter is the day our life ends.” … “Choose love not hate. Hate is too much of a burden.” … “We have to continue to push forward as people. If we can’t fly, then run. If we can’t run, then walk. If we can’t walk, then crawl. But we have to continue to push forward.”

Brown’s MLK speech fermented during his time at Cal.

Brown said he took a college class on student activism, "wrote a paper on something similar to the student rights movement" and "remembered those quotes." The Celtics didn't give him much time to prepare the speech, he said.

"It was all off the top of my head," Brown said. "It was all last minute, so I threw something together."

"I've been celebrating this day for a long time and I've been celebrating it, appreciating Martin Luther King and what he's done for awhile," the rookie added. "So when they asked me to do this I said yes."