On Thursday night, the Boston Celtics beat the Golden State Warriors 92-88 for their 14th win in a row. While the crowd in Boston chanted “M-V-P” for Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown was the Celtics’ best player, scoring 22 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and playing great defense against the Warriors’ Kevin Durant. After the game, Brown told reporters that he’d played on Thursday despite the death of his best friend and high school teammate Trevin Steede.
In that media scrum, Brown said he’d decided to play after speaking to Steede’s mother. Before that, he said, he “wasn’t in any shape to come out—I didn’t want to leave my room.” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his conversations with Brown before the game were similar to those he’d had with Isaiah Thomas during last year’s playoffs, when the diminutive then-Celtics star starred for Boston after his sister died in a car accident. (Thomas was since traded to Cleveland as part of the deal that brought Irving to Boston.)
A month ago, Steede posted a video of himself playing 1-on-1 against Brown. It was not a very close game.
Shortly after the Celtics’ win, Brown posted a screenshot from that video:
Brown told reporters that he wasn’t sure how his friend had died. He said they’d met in high school in Marietta, Georgia, after Brown transferred schools. Brown, who described himself as an introvert, said he was sitting by himself when Steede told him to come over and sit with him. “Ever since then we’ve been … best friends,” Brown said. “That’s been my brother.”