Jaylen Brown and Set Free Richardson Want to Educate NBA Rookies on the Value of Investing Through Art
When we caught up with Jaylen Brown for the cover of SLAM 242, the Celtics superstar made it clear that his thinking goes well beyond just basketball. He currently serves as Vice President of the NBA Players Association (NBPA) and has been revered for his work in the Boston community, whether that’s surprising middle schoolers at the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester with back-to-school gear, or when after signing his five-year deal with the team, he announced that he wanted to bring a “Black Wall Street” community back to the city.
The NBA All-Star is keeping that same energy when it comes to supporting the current crop of NBA rookies. Brown, who has his own brand, 7uice, is now venturing into art collecting and wants to educate players coming into the League on the value of investing through art.
Working alongside creative legend Set Free Richardson, they’ve set out to gift rookies with art pieces that, in time, will appreciate in value. The two met up with Portland Trail Blazers guard and fellow Marietta native Scoot Henderson during NBA Summer League in Vegas and presented him a hand-signed print by award-winning painter and one of Brown’s favorite artists Rafa Macarrón at the Rookie 1 Party. The piece, which is worth over 20k, was acquired from Lio Malca’s Gallery 60 White.
“A good amount of our players are current art collectors,” Brown tells SLAM. “I’m currently growing my art collection and looking forward to learning more about art and all its capacities. As I learn and grow, I plan on sharing that learning process with the world, as well as my NBA counterparts.”
Macarrón, a self-taught artist from Madrid, Spain, has a personal style that’s inspired by dreams and childhood. The piece gifted to Henderson is both eclectic and interesting as it is playful, and features pastel colors and uniquely drawn figures. It perfectly connects with Henderson’s own creativity, too, as the SLAM 244 cover star is also interested in art and fashion.
Now, thanks to Brown and Richardson, he has his own very limited-edition piece to take with him to his new home in Portland. Scoot is just the first of many rookies Brown and Richardson plan on gifting art pieces to, including Victor Wembanyama and Brandon Miller.
“Hopefully in time the piece will grow in value and art collecting will become a great hobby that [they] will learn to love and appreciate,” Brown adds.
Photos courtesy of Set Free Richardson.