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Jaylen Brown fires back at Stephen A. Smith over his anonymous NBA source

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BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown is firing back at Stephen A. Smith and his anonymous sources following comments the ESPN talking head made about Brown's "attitude" hurting his marketability. And the Celtics star isn't the only one calling out Smith for his comments.

The Boston Celtics are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals -- taking a 3-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers into Monday night's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals -- thanks in large part to Brown's stellar play on the floor. He has arguably been Boston's best player throughout the playoffs, averaging 24.7 points per game off 54.5 shooting through series wins over the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers and the first three games against the Pacers. 

Brown saved the day in Game 1 against the Pacers when he drained a game-tying three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left on the clock, and Boston eventually won in overtime. While Jayson Tatum is seen as the face of the Boston Celtics, Brown should not be overlooked when it comes to the organization or the NBA as a whole.

When it comes to marketing the league though, it's usually always Tatum, who has had his share of advertisement opportunities. Brown has had several magazine features done on him and his unique approach to life (and style), but he doesn't have the national ads that Tatum has gotten.

Stephen A. Smith explained why on a recent episode of First Take, and relayed a text from one of his sources that claims that Brown's attitude has kept him from becoming marketable in the eyes of the NBA.

"It's not so much that he's underrated, it's that he's just not liked because of his, 'I am better than you,' attitude," Smith read on air. "He knows it. It's the same reason he is not as marketable as he should be. That's what an NBA source just sent me."

Smith's comments came from a segment where he, Jay Williams, and Kendrick Perkins were discussing whether or not Brown is underrated. Smith agreed that Brown is underrated around the league, but that's when he shared the text from an unnamed source.

That clip eventually got to Brown, and once he saw the segment, the C's All-Star sent a pretty straight forward response on X to Smith. 

While Brown certainly carries a chip on his shoulder, it's weird that his numerous off-court contributions to society are rarely factored into his "attitude" on a national scale. And Brown wasn't the only one to lash out at Smith's reporting over this matter.

Two-time NBA champ Isiah Thomas also took issue with Smith's source, and defended Brown on X. 

Smith responded to Thomas, saying that he's a fan of Jaylen Brown, and chastised the NBA legend for airing his grievance on X and not with him directly. 

Getting criticized in the media -- and getting snubbed -- is nothing new for Brown. He shrugged off his latest All-NBA snub after his epic Game 2 performance against the Pacers, saying he didn't have time for that and was focused on winning a title. And while he may not be "marketable" in the eyes of some in the NBA, everyone is talking about Brown at the moment for his stellar postseason so far.

The best way for Brown to silence his critics (and maybe snag some marketing opportunities) will be to get the Celtics over the hump and bring a title to Boston. Brown and the Celtics will look to make their next step in that quest Monday night by securing a trip back to the NBA Finals with a Game 4 win in Indiana.

Given he responded to his All-NBA snub with a 40-point performance for the Celtics in Game 2, chances are Brown is going to have another huge game Monday night in response to Smith's comments. 

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