Jaylen Brown loves the freedom of being a sneaker free agent and wants to ‘change the mold of athlete’ with his next contract

The most enjoyable part for Brown is choosing which shoe to wear for each game. One day it might be Nikes, then New Balances, then maybe Under Armor or Converse.

“Yes, I feel free; I feel free,” Brown said. “I think that’s how things have been lately, I don’t know how long, you have to shake a mark and stick with it. But it’s a new era and me and my whole brand are different. We’re trying to change the athlete mold and the way things are done, so for me, I’m enjoying my freedom right now and we’ll see what happens later.

Jaylen Brown said he was intrigued by the idea of ​​one day having his own shoe.Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Brown said he had negotiations with competing shoemakers, but nothing to his preference.

“I’ve had many conversations with people and everything tends to be the same,” Brown said. “Put that athlete in that slot and if it’s not him, we’ll put another athlete in that slot. You really don’t get anything out of it. So for me, I tried to push for a kind of individualism, you know what I mean?

“If you want to sign Jaylen, you have to also look at what I do off the pitch and try to magnify that platform as well, whether it’s my foundation, whether it’s social activism, charity, little whatever. It has to be included. These brands, they talk but they don’t want to include everything I want to do off the pitch. It looks good, but in the end, they don’t care.

Brown started his own “7uice” foundation and his own clothing line, and when asked if he could consider creating his own basketball, similar to former NBA player Stephon Marbury, he was intrigued. .

“I keep an open mind,” he said with a smile. “It’s an idea you’re thinking about, but at the moment I’m still trying to see if anyone cares about what’s going on outside of basketball and at the moment nobody cares. care. [My own shoe] could be something that is part of the plan. We’ll see.”

Several other shoe companies approached Brown, a rising talent, about his services. But the decision is not easy. It’s more than just wearing cool sneakers in the evening or filming commercials.

“During this season, I had meetings, discussions and my team went back and forth, discussed and argued,” he said. “It was great because a lot of people see what you do on the pitch. And then off the pitch they don’t understand how everyone works either. How difficult it is to have a platform that stands for something and at the same time, to have endorsements. It’s a conversation that doesn’t exist, they prefer you to be non-controversial, smile, don’t say anything because it’s safe.

“All the athletes I look up to. They’re not that. Mohamed Ali, Jim Brown, Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. The greats I admire were outspoken and stood up for something. It’s interesting to see that they try to push the athlete to do the opposite.

This story originally appearsed in Sunday Basketball Notes. Read the rest here.

Gary Washburn is a columnist for The Globe. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.

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