Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Jaylen Brown says 2023 NBA All-Game was 'just a glorified layup line'

The Celtics duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were the talk of the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City Sunday night.

Tatum scored a record-breaking 55 points to win MVP after Team Giannis won 184-175, while Brown led Team LeBron with 35 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Brown, who debuted a mask for the first time since suffering a facial fracture earlier this month, enjoyed his second All-Star appearance -- despite believing that lack of defense helped him have a strong performance at Vivint Arena.
"All is fun in games like this," Brown said during his postgame presser. "Real basketball is different. This was like a layup line. I don't know how much notoriety we would want to to get from this. This was a glorified layup line. We got to figure out how to make the game a little bit more competitive. If the fans like it, that's all that matters."
While Brown was not the only one unfazed with the effort displayed on Sunday, Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone -- who was head coach of Team LeBron -- also voiced his displeasure with the game and even with some of those on his very own roster.
"It's an honor to be here, and it's an honor to be a part of great weekend with great players, but that's the worst basketball game ever played," Malone said in his postgame comments. "I don't know if you can fix it. I give Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving [credit], those two guys were competing. They tried to get some defense in. No one got hurt, they put on a show for the fans, but that's a tough game to sit through, I'm not gonna lie."
The highlight of the game and one sequence that showed some competitiveness was the head-to-head between Tatum and Brown in the final minute of the third period.

Brown hit two back-to-back jumpers in Tatum's face, while Tatum nailed a step-back 3-pointer of his own to close the quarter, as the Celtics stars had a memorable back and forth.
"That was like another day at the office for us, right? Been on the same team for six years now," Tatum said of the battles with Brown. "We've played countless number of one-on-one games, scrimmages against each other. We've always kind of brought the best out of each other. So it was a normal day for us. Just millions of people watching on one of the biggest stage. So just had a little fun with it."
The Celtics at a league leading 42-17, return to action Thursday night to start a three-game road trip against the Indiana Pacers.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Rob Perez

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