Boston Celtics center Mfiondu Kabengele is grateful to receive mentorship from teammate Jaylen Brown. The 25-year-old appreciates his help. In July, Kabengele signed a two-way contract with the Celtics.
During training camp, Brown asked the 6’9″ center if he studied all the plays. It turned out that Kabengele needed his help, hoping to earn some potential second-unit minutes.
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“JB is the one who brought me, who showed up to help me train. I didn’t even ask him,” Kabengele revealed to The Athletic in an interview. He wants to win with the Celtics. That’s the bottom line.
“I’m very grateful because I really care about myself and want to help [us] to win. I’m glad he sees that, so that’s pretty cool. He told me tips and tricks on how to angle it, how I should ride, things to look for before setting a pick.
“I asked him a lot about pick-and-roll angles, how I should roll and what I should look for. It’s kind of selfish, but I want to ride so I can be a threat too.
Last season, Brown averaged 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 66 starts. On January 2, 2022, in the Celtics’ 116–111 win over the Orlando Magic, he scored a career-high 50 points in 47 minutes of action.
Celtics center Mfiondu Kabengele appreciates Jaylen Brown for coaching him during training camp
Additionally, the Florida State product was selected 27th overall by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA draft. However, he was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.
He spent a season and a half with Los Angeles before being dealt to the Sacramento Kings on March 22. However, the Kings waived Kabengele three days later.
“I know that [Jayson Tatum] and Jaylen, they’re that ‘guy’ and you have to respect what they do,” the Celtics center continued. “So I’m going to ask Jaylen how can I be a threat when I’m setting up screens.
After signing contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets, he was later waived by both teams. Last season, in 16 games played off the bench with the Cavs, the center averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
“I’m not the same person I was in my freshman year, or even last year when I was in the G League,” Kabengele mentioned. “A lot of times I would walk into games and practices and think, ‘Okay, I have a skill set. “”
“It was a bit of arrogance that I had. It wasn’t laziness, but I had a good idea of what I needed, and then every time I fail and go through these things, I’m like, ‘Why isn’t it working?’ Then I did some self-reflection.
While with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League in the 2021-22 season, Kabengele averaged 17.5 points, 10.6 boards, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1 block in eight appearances.
Of course, the young center will have the chance to prove himself with the Celtics this season.