BOSTON — With the Celtics set to play in the NBA Finals, Jaylen Brown is about to play basketball on the biggest stage of his life. He’ll be doing so with the power of Kanye West’s sports marketing agency behind him.
Brown has signed with West’s agency, Donda Sports, according to TMZ. The report said Brown signed with the agency in March, but it wasn’t known publicly until now.
“We’re told Donda eyed the Eastern Conference champ because of his intelligence, social activism and charitable work … as well as his success on the court,” TMZ reported. “On top of that, the deal was especially important to Ye because Jaylen is a God-fearing man … and his mother emphasized the importance of education at a young age, just like Donda. We’re told Ye thinks Brown is underappreciated … and wants to bring him to ‘superhero’ status during his career and long after his playing days.”
Brown has been carefully managing the business side of his operation for some time, as he’s been the rare NBA star who’s remained a “sneaker free agent” since 2021.
“We’re trying to shift the mold of the athlete and the way things are done,” Brown told The Boston Globe regarding his lack of sneaker sponsorship in March. “So for me, I’m enjoying my freedom right now and we’ll see what happens down the line.”
In that same interview, Brown spoke to the importance of his role as an activist being part and parcel of any potential business agreement.
“If you want to sign Jaylen, you have to look at what I do off the court as well and try to magnify that platform as well, whether it’s my foundation, whether it’s social activism, charity, whatever,” Brown told the Globe. “That needs to be included. These brands, they talk but they don’t want to include anything that I want to do off the court. It sounds good but when it really comes down to it, they don’t really care.”
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Rams star defensive lineman and Super Bowl champion Aaron Donald announced that he had signed with Donda Sports. Brown’s addition should provide a major signal boost for the agency ahead of the NBA Finals.