Jaylen Brown rips ‘unacceptable’ NBA In-Season Tournament court


The new In-Season Tournament courts were designed to leave impressions on viewers.
Instead, there appears to be some worry they’re beginning to leave impressions on players’ bodies.
Jaylen Brown spoke out against a court he felt was too slippery on Friday night, becoming the latest NBA player to call out sleek-looking and perhaps just sleek playing surfaces.
During the Celtics’ 108-105 win in Toronto, on the debut, new-look court of Scotiabank Arena, Brown slipped twice in the game’s final minute.
The second slip, on which Brown was trying to get open during an in-bounds play, might have caused an injury.
“I slipped. I might have strained my groin a little bit,” Brown told reporters in Toronto. “We’ll see how it feels. The court was just slippery all game. As players, we’re all here for the In-Season Tournament because it’s going to generate revenue, excitement, competition, etc. But we’ve got to make sure the floor is safe to play on. We can’t put our players out there and risk their health.
3 USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
“Tonight, I thought the floor was kind of unacceptable,” added Brown, who is a vice president of the players’ union. “Guys were slipping all over the place, not just me.”
Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa, too, told reporters “it was slippery” and he “felt myself slip a few times.”
“I just want to play basketball,” Achiuwa said. “But at the same time, I’m not trying to get hurt.”
On the NBC Sports Boston broadcast, former NBA player Brian Scalabrine noticed that there were more slips than usual.
“I like the way this court looks, but there’s been about 10 times that guys are slipping all over the place,” Scalabrine said. “… If they’re going to do these floors, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of the guys.”
3 Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket during the game against the Toronto Raptors during the In-Season Tournament game on November 17, 2023 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NBAE via Getty Images
The Toronto court might not have been an outlier.
Luka Doncic blasted the custom court at the Smoothie King Center, the home of the Pelicans, after a loss Tuesday.
“I think the court today was really bad,” Doncic told reporters. “It was really slippery, and in some places, the ball didn’t really bounce. If we’re going to have these courts, we got to make sure that it’s a stable court so we can play on it.”
In Indiana, Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton called the Gainbridge Fieldhouse’s custom court “definitely slick to start” during a win over the Cavaliers on Nov. 3.
“It’s a brand-new floor. I think it was a little slick,” teammate Myles Turner told reporters, according to the Indianapolis Star. “But I think the good people at Gainbridge [Fieldhouse] will have it right for the next game.”
3 Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots against New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. AP
The NBA introduced the new courts in large part to help the viewer distinguish between normal regular-season games and In-Season Tournament games.
The new tournament is an experiment to see if the league can gain interest from players and fans for mostly forgettable games at the onset of the season by adding stakes, including cash payouts to teams that do well in the tournament.
The NBA might have a bigger immediate concern, though, than ensuring interest rises.


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