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From honing his skills during a truncated offseason as the NBA navigated a global pandemic to the encore he's delivering after earning a spot on the 2022 All-NBA Second Team, Jaylen Brown consistently returns a better player at the start of each campaign.

And while signing the most lucrative contract in league history over the Summer could've extinguished the inferno that fuels the three-time All-Star's pursuit of his best self, he's responded with a self-issued challenge to shoulder more responsibility and earn even greater trust from his teammates and coaching staff.

"I think at the start of the year, I don't think the coaching staff was looking at me to be more of a playmaker, but any time I get an opportunity and I get better, I wanted to prove and earn everybody's trust and respect," Brown voiced while discussing his growth as a facilitator earlier this season.

"I really worked in the offseason on developing my crafts. (I) take my game serious, and I just keep coming back, (and) getting better every year. I'm gonna just keep doing that."

That includes the six-foot-six forward locking in more consistently on defense in the current campaign, tapping into his drive to maximize his abilities, a seemingly endless source of energy for him, and unleashing his athletic gifts to torment even the league's best scorers.

A prime example was when he shut down Stephen Curry in the Boston Celtics' 52-point drubbing of the Golden State Warriors. The two-time league MVP finished with four points on 2/13 shooting, faring 0/9 from beyond the arc.

While it's an assignment Brown would've had to lobby for in the past, after applying airtight defense that never allowed Curry to find his rhythm, he told Inside The Celtics, "Maybe earlier in the year, I would have had to ask for it, but now it's kind of like normalized.

"The coaching staff assigned me to Steph; they wanted me to pick him up, make it hard for him, try to create some turnovers, and that's what I did."

On the heels of Boston's 127-112 victory vs. the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, in which the Marietta, Georgia, native generated a game-high 37 points, he opened up about the source of motivation that's propelling an ascension many didn't think was possible.

"When you lose, when you come up short on your home floor, when things don't go your way -- there's a quote I like: 'When you don't get what you want, what you got was experience,'" conveyed Brown, referencing the Celtics' loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals.

Accentuating the bitter nature of that defeat for the 27-year-old wing is that in trying to step up after Jayson Tatum hurt his ankle on the first play of the matchup, compromising his performance, Brown committed a career-high eight turnovers. The talk of him having no left hand crescendoed in the aftermath.

"As you get more mature (and) more experienced, things start to develop a little bit more. What I would credit to this season is loss," expressed Brown. "Losing on your home floor one game from the Finals, that can bring out the best or the worst in people."

Continuing to point to how he's responded to losing on the TD Garden parquet on the verge of becoming the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-0 deficit and return to the Finals, the seven-year veteran stated, "People can go one of two ways. For me, you can see people (that) when things don't go their way... it can be like a spirit-breaker. Ain't nothing in this world is going to break my spirit. For me, there was only one way to go, and it was to get better."

Brown's evolution has helped place Boston atop the NBA standings at 52-14. The Celtics are six games ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder, who, at 46-20, are in a tie for the second-best record in the Association.

But what matters most is what happens in the playoffs, where he'll get his opportunity for redemption and the chance to earn the last laugh while lifting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Further Reading

Celtics Cap Road Trip by Making Franchise History in Win vs. Jazz

'Always Ready': Celtics Second Unit Shines in Portland

Jayson Tatum Plays Entire Second Half vs. Suns: 'Don't Really Say That Many Times'

Jaylen Brown's Evolution Crucial to Celtics' Desire to Win with More Than Talent

Celtics Embracing Challenge to Go Beyond Most Talented

Jayson Tatum Opens Up About Sacrificing in Celtics' Title Pursuit: 'It's a Process'

Brad Stevens Discusses Celtics' Plan for Final Roster Spot

Marcus Smart Shares How Boston Shaped Him, His Message to Celtics Fans

Celtics Maturation Molded by Experience: 'It Builds, Like, an Armor'

Jaylen Brown Quieting Doubters, Validating What He Always Believed: 'Earn Everybody's Trust'

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Identity, Evolution of Celtics' Offense: 'Balance of Pace and Execution'