Boston Celtics superstar Jaylen Brown is no stranger to controversy.
On the court, Brown has had his best season yet in the NBA, averaging a career-high 26.6 points per game and making his second NBA All-Star Game appearance.
But off the court, things haven’t been quite as smooth.
It all began prior to the 2022-23 NBA season when Brown’s name surfaced around trade talks involving Kevin Durant. Brown’s drama then continued with his defense of Kyrie Irving following Irving’s sharing of antisemitic propaganda.
Brown also initially stuck with Kanye West’s Donda Sports agency after West’s brazen antisemitic remarks. Though he did later leave the agency after West doubled down.
Things eventually cooled off for Brown and the Celtics surged to the best record in the league. But then things got bumpy again. Boston fell to third place in the Eastern Conference and Brown raised eyebrows when he called out Celtics fans for their “extremely toxic” behavior.
Just when it appeared things were ready to die down yet again, with the Celtics looking for a first-round sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, Brown made waves yet again on Friday.
It all started when Celtics beat writer Jared Weiss shared a picture Brown’s shoes for Game 3 against the Hawks.
Jaylen Brown’s shoes for tonight pic.twitter.com/SSlO6N1Px3
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) April 21, 2023
On the inner sides, the sneakers read “was it really Neismith” and “Just do better.” On the outer sides were pictures of ancient Mayan ruins.
The sneakers appear to refer to a long-running conspiracy theory that it was the Mayans, not Dr. James Naismith (whose name Brown spelled wrong) who should be created with the creation of the game of basketball.
Naismith is credit with creating the game as we know it in 1891. While the Mayans played a similar game, Pok-a-Tok, thousands of years prior.
There’s just one problem with Brown’s theory.
Pok-a-Tok’s rules are absolutely nothing like basketball other than the fact that there was a ball and a hoop.
Between that very important distinction and Brown spelling Naismith’s name wrong, fans were quick to jump on him about the shoes.
Jaylen Brown had custom shoes painted to question the origins of basketball, then spelled Dr. James Naismith’s name wrong 😬😬😬 https://t.co/hPcUkvxnWE
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) April 21, 2023
Jaylen Brown is just a mute Kyrie Irving https://t.co/QoOcn8SvtL
— Clay Merritt (@notclaymerritt) April 21, 2023
Ankh Force 1s https://t.co/GKew01tpgi
— yc (@yc) April 21, 2023
If he’s referring to the Mayan ballgame I take his point but see it more as a soccer analog. https://t.co/pql9Bkr8iW
— serb your enthusiasm 🇷🇸 (@markocantdunk) April 21, 2023
But hey, we’ll give him an “A” (which he clearly is missing) for effort.