Jaylen Brown has recently become the latest member of the Celtics to cash in on the player development environment and system Boston has established over the last six years.
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At the beginning of this week, Brown agreed to a four-year $115m contract extension, a deal that will keep him in Boston for the long haul and give him and his family long-term financial security.
The 22-year-old cited the player development system and environment that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens have fostered as key factors in helping him to earn that extension
Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge has presided over a system which gets the best out of players
Those two men, who lead Boston’s basketball operations, have prioritised selecting the right type of people to enter the program, and the right ways to help those people develop once the have entered.
Brown said: “I think Danny does a good job of putting the right guys in an atmosphere that want to work, want to get better.
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“Everybody that I can think of being around have been dogs, hard workers. Terry (Rozier), hard worker. (Marcus) Smart, hard worker. Jayson (Tatum), hard worker.
“It inspires you. It makes you want to go to another level. When you hear people talk about other teams around the league, they don’t have that sense of edge and competitiveness.”
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Ainge also boosted his player development staff during the off-season by hiring Allison Feaster, a 21-year pro on the women’s side of basketball, as director of player development.
Once Ainge and his staff select the right players to enter the environment, Stevens takes over and leverages their edge and competitiveness to the advantage of the players and the team. He then plugs those players directly into a system that focuses on individual growth and effort.
Young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on court for Boston
“I think Brad is very hands-on,” Brown said. “In terms of his philosophy of how to make players better and things like that, as far as putting them in the best position possible.”
When the environment is filled with hard workers, and the system is built to maximise players’ growth, it is beneficial to the franchise as a whole.
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Brown’s extension is just the latest example of that. There is a long list of Celtics who have reaped the benefits of the organisation’s development environment and system by signing big deals over the last six years, a list that includes the likes of Smart, Rozier, Marcus Morris, Kelly Olynyk, Evan Turner, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley.
That list plays right into Stevens’ development model which asks players to work hard, to compete, and to be stars in roles appropriate to their skillsets.
Brad Stevens is one of the league's most-appreciated head coaches
Stevens said: “A lot of those guys that got big deals have come off the bench for us and so that’s just another example for us of, just accept your role and play it as well as you can, and really good things happen.
“If you’re a really good player, people know, and people are going to take note of that.”
In this most recent case, it was the Celtics who took note of the player who has been developing in front of their eyes throughout the last three-plus years. Brown put in the work, he deserved an extension, and he got it.
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No doubt the system, culture and environment at the Celtics has been key in helping the third pick in the 2016 draft deliver on his potential and they will be hoping he can continue to expand his game, having already established himself as one of the league’s premier athletic wing players.
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