Jaylen Brown doesn't lack in confidence. Boston's top pick in the 2016 draft (No. 3 overall) sat down with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks and showed off his brio when she asked, "How many championships does 28-year-old Jaylen have?"
"I'm not going to jinx myself," the 22-year-old said, "but—what's that, six years?—I'm gonna go ahead and say five or six." Rooks pushed him on the proclamation because that means he's winning a title pretty much every year. "I don't play to lose," he says. "I'm gonna give it a five."
When asked how he felt about winning his first chip this season, he was just as forthright: "Super confident." He went on to explain the audacity behind his predictions for himself and the still-young squad around him. "People misconstrue confidence and arrogance. I'm not being arrogant, because we're gonna have to take the steps to be the team we say we're gonna be, right? It's because we've got the mindset of a champion, and I think that's where it starts."
If we didn't already respect the hell out of the young Celtics forward, we'd think this sort of brashness might be a tad much for someone who hasn't even appeared in the Finals yet. But the comments fit his personality, even if the heralding of half a dozen rings feels premature, despite the fact Boston was the consensus pick (before everyone saw Kawhi and Toronto) to come out of the East this preseason.
Before you roll your eyes, just know Brown's age hasn't prevented him from expressing a galaxy-level understanding of professional athletics role in modern American society. This is a guy who interviewed five different high profile agents before the NBA Draft and ultimately elected to represent himself. He learned Spanish as a freshman at Cal and says he wants to learn three more languages by the time he's 25.
The hyperbolic prognostications about titles might match whatever arrogant young athlete trope middle-aged sportswriters want to trot out when they hear this, but Brown isn't a typical 22-year-old impulsively spouting off about his future. It's confidence not cockiness.