Kyrie discusses 'aligning' with Jaylen Brown after leaving Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown have had interesting history, to say the least.
Irving and Brown didn't exactly see eye-to-eye as teammates in Boston, with Brown recently admitting the two "bumped heads a lot" on the Celtics from 2017 to 2019. The two have grown closer since Irving joined the Brooklyn Nets, however, to the point where Irving now considers Brown a "brother."
"He's a brother of mine," Irving said Sunday after his Nets lost to Brown's Celtics 103-92 at the Barclays Center. "Grateful that we have built a relationship off the court. True warriors when we go against each other.
"When I was in Boston we didn't really get a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level, so again, I'm just grateful that we've been able to build on top of a great foundation of aligning on how we live our lives and how we treat people. So, it's been good. He's a brother of mine."
After the Nets suspended Irving for eight games last month for failing to disavow antisemitism and refusing to acknowledge the hateful material in a film he shared on social media, Brown came to Irving's defense, expressing his opinion that his fellow member of the NBA Players' Association is not antisemitic.
"I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic," Brown told The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn. "I don’t think people in our governing bodies think he’s antisemitic. He made a mistake. We understand from an outside perspective how important sensitivity is to not condone hate speech and not condone anything of that nature. It’s sensitivity to the dialect around that.
"We don’t want to stand up for somebody in order to not condemn hate speech, but I don’t believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic. And hopefully the NBA feels the same way."
Brown going out on a limb to defend Irving would have seemed far less likely a few years ago, but it appears the two have developed a closer relationship at this stage in their careers.
Brown got the better of Irving on the court Sunday, however, dropping a game-high 34 points to power Boston's win over Brooklyn.