Even though Jaylen Brown loses the dunk contest, he had the most poignant moment

Jaylen Brown, a standout player for the Boston Celtics, used the Slam Dunk Contest spotlight to fulfill a pledge and preserve the memory of a local inspiration in the minds of the audience.

Jaylen Brown made NBA history on Saturday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, by being the first All-Star to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest since 2017.


Speaking on NBATV earlier in the evening, the 2022 All-NBA Second Team selection discussed his desire to add more star power to a venue where legendary players like Vince Carter, Dominique Wilkins, and Michael Jordan made dunks that would live on in legend.

Growing up, I enjoyed watching it. When it comes to dunking on someone in the game, I believe I’m among the best. Thus, I believe that this is both a part of my legacy and the trip.”


Then the native of Marietta, Georgia, got out there and delivered ferocious, acrobatic, and powerful jams. With a little extra zing, he began by honoring Wilkins and his heritage.


Last but not least, Brown paid tribute to Terrence Clarke, a local celebrity who served as an inspiration to many basketball players in New England.




Tragically, the former Kentucky Wildcat died in an automobile accident when he was just 19 years old. The NBA admitted Clarke into its fraternity on the night he was supposed to fulfill a childhood dream—the 2021 NBA Draft.


At the Vine St. Community Center, where Clarke spent countless hours perfecting his art, the NBA and the Boston Celtics named a court in his honor.


In 2021, Brown was present and addressed the crowd during a victory over the Houston Rockets in late November. He said, “It meant the world to me.”


“In our family, we have a saying that energy lasts forever,” the now three-time All-Star said. We firmly think that energy will persist as long as we continue to remember him and proclaim his name. Thus, even if Terrence isn’t with us today, he will always be a part of me and each of us as long as I’m here. Terrence was a great kid, man, he truly was, so I’m going to keep celebrating him and his family for giving us.”

Following the Dunk Contest, the silver medalist expressed her gratitude to Clarke by saying, “Terrence was like my little bro.” She won gold where it mattered most. Unquestionably connected to Boston. I desired to be performing everything with a purpose. I believe that tonight, I achieved my goal of making everything have a message behind it.”


Thus, the most moving part of the evening was when Brown used this platform to honor Clarke and his family and continue to live on in the memories of his audience, even if Mac McClung successfully defended his Slam Dunk title.



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