Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown Almost Skipped NBA Reboot After Grandfather Was Diagnosed With Cancer
On the Ellen show Tuesday, Brown first revealed the diagnosis. He had hinted that his grandfather was “facing a lot of stuff right now” after the Celtics passed the Toronto Raptors. But no one knew the extent of it until now.
“My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer just before they talked about getting into the bubble,” Brown said on the show. “He’s been living with me for four, five, six months. He needed me. But when we had the conversation, he didn’t necessarily want to start his chemo.
Brown says his grandfather, Willie Brown, was ready to accept his fate. But they had a conversation that convinced him to keep fighting.
“He just said he was done, he said he was tired,” Brown said. “How I convinced him was I said I was going to go out there and play, but you have to play too. So he liked the sound of that and he signed up.
Brown says that while he may not originally have wanted to fight again, his grandfather is a fighter at heart.
“By the way, he’s the toughest guy I’ve ever met.” Brown said. “He’s like a superhero. He was in the Vietnam War, he was shot twice in the head, he had a heart attack, cancer, COVID, all at the same time and he conquered it all. ”
Brown now says Willie, or “The Great Will B” as they like to call him, is doing well as he continues his treatments. Grandpa Brown appeared on Jaylen’s Instagram feed frequently ahead of the reboot, putting the Celtics forward through tough boxing-based workouts.
“We said we needed him to help me train and prepare for the season, so he could feel comfortable staying here,” Jaylen told the Globe in May. “But on the other side of that, he’s like, ‘OK, let’s practice then. “We trained hard and a lot. On the one hand, it’s good that he feels comfortable here, but on the other hand he makes me work my [butt] disabled. “
Preparation paid off for Brown, who was Boston’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs, averaging 21.8 points per game. He was also the second-best rebounder and his 58.6% actual shots made him the most efficient starter of the playoffs.