Celtics' Jaylen Brown Composed Rap to Prepare for Guarding LeBron James

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers controls the ball against Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter during Game Four of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 23, 2017 in
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At the end of his rookie season, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown faced the steep challenge of defending LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

He claimed to not fear the Cleveland Cavaliers icon, whom he described as "just a regular guy" in a pregame interview, per the Celtics on CSN. But Brown is only human, so the neophyte was naturally concealing some jitters.

According to SportTechie's Avery Yang, Brown used an app to record a rap he listened to before every game.

"He finally settled on an unorthodox solution—to create a three-minute, 31-second rap song that he rapped, produced and composed himself, one that would boost his self-esteem and get him past the urge to vomit before games in nervousness," Yang wrote. "Brown listened to the song, entitled 'Building Blocks,' several times before all five games of a playoff series in which he held his own against James defensively."

The "held his own" part is debatable, as James averaged 29.6 points per game with a 58.0 field-goal percentage during the series. According to NBA.com, the Celtics allowed 127.1 points per 100 possessions with the rookie on the court.

Per NBC Sports' Dan Feldman, James shot 79 percent when guarded by Brown. Then again, no 20-year-old on the planet should be expected to contain the superstar.

Yang wrote that Skal Labissiere and Aaron Gordon also work with Graham Betchart, Brown's mental skills coach who helps athletes psychologically prepare for games through the Lucid app. He or the players produce audio recordings that "target specific sources of stress, build focus, enhance mental fortitude and help overcome the number of other psychological hurdles that athletes, and people, go through on a day-to-day basis."

While the rap isn't available for anyone else's consumption, Yang provided the lyrics.

"Game day and it's time to focus in. … Is you ready, I can feel you breathing heavy, keep it steady. I just gotta pretend that I got it all together when I don't. Probably wanna throw up but I won't … just breathe."