Celtics' Jaylen Brown almost skipped NBA restart due to grandfather's cancer diagnosis

Justin Leger
·2 min read

Jaylen almost skipped NBA restart after grandfather's cancer diagnosis originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jaylen Brown revealed he almost skipped the NBA's restart after his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer.

The Boston Celtics forward opened up about his grandfather's diagnosis Tuesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer right before they were talking about going into the bubble,” Brown said. “He’s been living with me for the past four, five, six months. He needed me around. But when we had the conversation, he didn’t necessarily want to start his chemo.

“He’s like the toughest guy I’ve ever met, by the way. He’s like a superhero. He’s been to the Vietnam War, he’s been shot in the head twice, he’s had a heart attack, cancer, COVID, all at the same time and he has beaten it all.”

How Smart found peace in NBA's Orlando bubble

Brown went on to explain that his grandfather, Willie Brown, had come to terms with his fate. But a conversation convinced Willie to keep on fighting while Brown did the same on the court down in the Orlando bubble.

“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 down there and play, but you’ve got to play too. So he liked the sound of that and he signed up.”

Fortunately, Brown adds that his grandfather is "doing great" right now as he continues his treatments. A true fighter, indeed.

The Celtics undoubtedly were happy to have Brown in Orlando as he was one of their most consistent players throughout the NBA restart. The 23-year-old was the team's second-leading scorer in the playoffs, averaging 21.8 points per game.