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Stephen A. Smith backs Jaylen Brown—Is Team USA making a huge mistake by leaving him out?

With Kawhi Leonard withdrawing from Team USA for the Olympics, there was a spot open on the roster. Although the Celtics were already well represented with Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday on the squad, many expected their running mate Jaylen Brown to fill the vacancy. After all, he recently won the Finals MVP and led Boston to a title. However, a major shock awaited everyone as Brown was not considered again, leading to a cryptic reaction by him and vet analyst Stephen A. Smith getting a chance to say ‘I told you so’.

Yes, instead of Jaylen Brown getting the nod, his teammate Derrick White will take the flight to Paris over him and replace Kawhi on the Olympics roster. And JB, facing disappointment yet again, took to social media to express his frustration as he tweeted a wordless response to the USA Basketball’s decision. “🧐🧐🧐,” the Boston fan-favorite posted. However, he wasn’t done just yet.

JB took it a step further and called out Nike, tweeting, “@nike this what we doing?”. Why? Maybe because the sportswear brand is the official apparel sponsor for Team USA and Jaylen Brown seems to have believed that they might have somehow influenced this decision to leave him out of the roster. Suspicious, isn’t it? Hundreds of fans in that comment box are thinking along the same lines.

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Even veteran analyst Stephen A. Smith stood in support of Brown and gave him a harsh reality check, “Do y’all believe me now? Yo @FCHWPO, do I need to reveal my sources now? Is it not obvious now? How in the hell is a $300M man — now a champion and an NBA Finals MVP— who’s clearly a top-two player on the @celtics and a Top-15 player in the world, NOT chosen for Team-USA? B/c his teammate NOT named Tatum is selected before him? Come on y’all!!!”

Obviously, Stephen A. was referring to Brown frequently asking him to state his source after the ESPN analyst claimed that JB is not a marketable athlete as he is not liked around the league because of his ‘I am better than you attitude’, citing an anonymous source. Although Smith never revealed his sources, Brown’s Team USA snub likely proves the point he has been making for the last few weeks.

Why did Jaylen Brown blame Nike for his Team USA snub?

While Stephen A.’s words might be harsh, he does have a solid point. What more does Jaylen Brown have to do to be considered among the best players in the world? Well, a Championship, a Finals MVP, and a $303 million contract don’t seem to be doing the trick. And Brown believes that the people at Nike might have had a part to play in him getting left behind. That’s because the superstar has not had great relations with the sneaker giants for the last few years.

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Playing the first five years of his career signed with Adidas, Brown has been a sneaker-free agent for the last three years. However, he frequently wore Nike’s Kobe-branded sneakers to the game because of his fandom for the Lakers legend.

But things quickly went south two years ago when his former teammate Kyrie Irving had a fallout with Nike because of an off-court controversy after he shared an antisemitic documentary on his social media. Defending the now-Mavs guard, Jaylen Brown questioned Nike’s ethics with a tweet, “Since when did Nike care about ethics?”

Even after that, although the Celtics favorite continued to wear Kobes, he had the Nike swoosh removed from his sneakers, making his stance clear. Maybe, this beef with the multi-billion-dollar giants has come back to haunt Brown as they might be a major reason why Derrick White, who was the 5th option on the Celtics’ starting 5, got the nod before the Finals MVP. What are your thoughts?

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Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what brand maker, Leonard Armato, had to say about the deadly duo, Shaq and Kobe, check out this exclusive video by EssentiallySports.