Celtics guard Jaylen Brown has inked a deal with Kanye West’s Donda Sports, according to TMZ.
Brown acknowledged the deal on his Instagram story when he re-shared the news and posted a dove emoji while tagging West’s account.
Details are scant so far, but the arrangement may turn out to be focused on Brown’s off-the-court branding and marketing efforts, and doesn’t mark a change to his representation.
That would track with the Donda Sports deal signed by NFL star Aaron Donald, who announced this past weekend he would be joining West’s company.
“We got a lot of different things that are planned,” Donald said on the “I Am Sports” podcast. Donald, who hasn’t committed to playing next season after winning the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams, was the first active professional athlete to say he had a deal.
“The whole spectrum of everything that was going on, what they were going to be bringing, the family atmosphere that they got,” Donald said, “for me, it was a no-brainer.”
Donald said it was “an opportunity to open up a lot of different doors and a lot of different things outside of football that I wanna be involved in.”
Brown and West do appear to have a personal relationship. A photo of them popped up on Instagram when the Celtics played the Warriors in San Francisco in March.
Jaylen Brown and Kanye West pic.twitter.com/UgCwXyOIEU— Celtics Junkies (@Celtics_Junkies) March 17, 2022
Also during that West Coast visit, Brown was spotted wearing a Donda Sports hoodie with rapper A$AP Ferg.
According to TMZ sources, West is a fan of Brown’s basketball talents, as well as his “intelligence, activism and charitable work.”
TMZ reports that Brown signed before Donald, which would make Brown the first pro athlete to sign with Donda Sports.
Donda Sports, named after West’s late mother, is an extension of the rapper’s ever-sprawling Donda brand.
In February, embattled NFL star Antonio Brown posted on Instagram that he held the role of president at the company, while sharing that he had purchased a suite at Super Bowl LVI. West and Antonio Brown had been spotted together after Brown’s tenure with the Buccaneers ended with him walking off the field during a game.
West also founded Donda Academy, located outside of Los Angeles, last fall. He has played a big role in the branding and recruitment for the school’s basketball team, the Donda Doves (that’s where the emoji comes in). A number of top high school players in the country opted to transfer to West’s school, including guard Robert Dillingham, who is ranked as the No. 5 recruit in the class of 2023 by ESPN.
Jaylen Brown is a sneaker free agent, meaning he has no deal with a shoe company — a big deal in NBA circles.
His deal with Adidas expired in 2021 and Brown has been trying out several types of shoes during the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals.
West has a partnership with Adidas, which manufactures and markets his Yeezy shoe line.
Michael Silverman can be reached at email@example.com. Katie McInerney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.