Sunday, July 14, 2024

Jaylen’s post after Derrick White’s Team USA nod raises eyebrows

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Kawhi Leonard’s withdrawal from Team USA opened the door for a Boston Celtics star to join teammates Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday at the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

But it’s not All-Star and NBA Finals MVP Jaylen Brown.

USA Basketball confirmed at noon ET on Wednesday that Celtics guard Derrick White will replace Leonard on its 12-man Olympic roster. About eight minutes later, Brown posted the following on Twitter/X:

Brown hasn’t provided any additional context, so those three raised eyebrow emojis technically could be about anything. It’s also possible that Brown is simply happy to see White make Team USA, and this is his way of expressing it.

But a large portion of NBA fans interpreted Brown’s post as his belief that he was “snubbed” from Team USA’s roster and should have gotten the call over White.

If that’s how Brown feels, he has a reasonable case: The 27-year-old is one of the best two-way wings in the world coming off a career season in which he averaged 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He was even better in the postseason, earning Eastern Conference Finals MVP and NBA Finals MVP while often guarding the opponent’s best player. He would have been a natural replacement for an elite two-way wing like Leonard.

That said, Brown’s post isn’t the best look considering his Celtics teammate made the roster instead. Even if Brown is genuinely happy for White in private, he’s creating unnecessary controversy by opening the door for people to suggest he’s upset that White made the roster instead of him.

Brown is used to being snubbed, however, and White doesn’t seem like the type who would let this become an issue in the Celtics’ locker room. So while White, Tatum and Holiday compete for gold in Paris, perhaps this just motivates Brown to work harder this offseason to help Boston defend Banner 18.

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