Brown on Kemba injury: 'It gives everybody a little bit of a scare'

A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON - As Kemba Walker laid on the Pepsi Center floor after a head-to-chest collision with teammate Semi Ojeleye Friday night, there were few in the building who could relate to what Walker was experiencing in that moment. 

Count Jaylen Brown among those who understood, better than he would have wanted to. 

It was just a couple years ago that Brown found himself crashing hard to the floor that brought on a series of concussion-like symptoms, similar to what Walker is dealing with now. 

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On March 8, 2018 at Minnesota, Brown grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a dunk only to lose his grip on the rim and land on his upper back just below his neck. 


Replays of the incident show Brown blinking several times quickly before blacking out. 

"When I was unconscious, completely knocked out, I remember people were saying ‘we're going to get a stretcher,' and something came over me and I just got right up," Brown told reporters shortly after his fall, in 2018. 

Brown added, "Could have been worse, to be honest - just a blessing that I didn't need a stretcher or anything to walk off the floor with. Scary because people were tweeting and everything, and it's just a scary situation for me because you never want to be in a situation where people are saying they're praying for you, or anything like that."

As Walker was being attended to by the Celtics medical staff, surrounded by teammates, Brown couldn't help but think back to when he was in a similar situation and what that felt like emotionally.  

"It gives everybody a little bit of a scare," Brown said after Friday's loss at Denver.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens added, "You're always thinking about it. You still have to play the last 27 minutes which is not a fun part of it but I thought our guys and Denver, competed hard the rest of the game."

Brown soon found himself in the NBA's concussion protocol program following his 2018 fall, which involves a series of tests and evaluations by medical officials prior to the athlete being able to resume playing. 

For Brown, his time in the league's concussion protocol program kept him out of six games for Boston. 

And last season, Gordon Hayward was placed in the concussion protocol program after a collision with Atlanta's John Collins this past spring - almost a year after Brown's concussion.  

Hayward's concussion led to him being sidelined for three games. 

While it's anyone's guess as to when Walker will return to the court, the Celtics players are bracing for being without their leading scorer for a few games. 

And they are thankful that by all accounts thus far, Walker's injury is one that thus far has produced encouraging results and optimism about his return. 

"Our thoughts are with him to make sure his health is prioritized and stuff like that," Brown said. "I've been through similar injury. Just the support, I think that's important in things like that. Our prayers and energy are definitely with him."

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Kings, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Brown on Kemba injury: 'It gives everybody a little bit of a scare' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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