Jaylen Brown knows the game of basketball. As one of the league’s most promising young stars with the Boston Celtics, he’s had quite an opportunity to learn the game throughout his NBA career. He’s emerged as a star on one of the Eastern Conference’s most talent-laden teams.
As a student of the game, Brown recently took an opportunity to discuss women’s basketball. In Brown’s estimation, there isn’t much difference between the men’s and women’s games. According to him, it’s only separated by one thing.
The relationship between the NBA and the WNBA
The WNBA and NBA are very much two partner leagues. When the WNBA debuted in the early ’90s, every WNBA team was tied to an NBA franchise. Now, there are independent teams not directly connected with an NBA team.
The WNBA has become more popular since its inception but is still viewed as something of a niche sport. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Sports Media Watch pointed out — in a time of a fractured media landscape and shortened attention spans, it’s common for people to only focus on their niche interests. But the game could always grow in popularity, and there might be a larger fan base out there awaiting it.
The WNBA doesn’t garner nearly the attention or ratings of the NBA, which is a shame. There are plenty of basketball fans who might not watch it but would nonetheless enjoy the artistry of the game. While it’s not precisely the same as the men’s game, it has its own intricacies that make it entertaining to watch.
How can the game get more eyes on it? By having more NBA players endorse the game. One player who’s definitely endorsing women’s basketball is Brown.
The one women’s player who Jaylen Brown said put the “battery in my back”
Brown recently did an interview with GQ Sports where he talked about famous basketball movies. He spoke about a wide range of basketball films, from Spike Lee’s drama He Got Game to Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro. Brown also commented on the romantic drama Love and Basketball that starred Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan.
He took a moment to reflect on how much he loves watching women’s basketball. Brown’s respect for women’s basketball goes beyond just watching the game. He actually has experience going head-to-head with a women’s player.
When it comes to women basketball players and their ability to compete at a high level, there is at least one player Brown respects to the point where he name-checked her during the interview.
It’s one of the most famous women’s players ever, and she stands as a testament to the overall quality of women’s basketball. According to Brown, one of the first players he encountered when joining the NBA was legendary women’s player and Basketball Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon. In the GQ interview he said:
“When I first got into the league, she was one of the first people to put the battery in my back. Defensively, she gets after it like no other…everybody knows that.”
The one thing that separates men’s and women’s basketball according to Jaylen Brown
During the interview, Brown also noted the only distinction he was able to observe between the men’s and women’s game:
“I think the only difference is maybe, you know, athleticism and strength. But skill level and all that stuff is there. It’s dope. You watch the game, you learn different tactics.”
Women’s basketball often goes unappreciated, but Brown’s comments here go a long way toward rectifying the misconception that it’s somehow inferior to the men’s game.
While there are variations between the men’s and women’s game, Brown’s point is true: there’s just as much skill involved. Brown is a successful NBA player, and more successful players like him could help the women’s game by stepping up in support of it.