From Being a Donda Athlete to Starry Reunion, Jaylen Brown, and Kanye West Have a History Worth Re-Visiting

Published 12/26/2023, 3:42 AM EST

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Kanye West might be a prime-time showrunner in the musical landscape, but his venture of business mind has seen the inception of several achievements. While his sartorial statements gave rise to the generation-defining sneaker line of Yeezy, this year was also crucial for new updates like his working towards the launch of his own news channel. But apart from these notable ventures, a year ago, Kanye West founded his Donda Sports agency, which included athletes like Jaylen Brown and Aaron Donald. 

Months after the sign-up, both Brown and Donald left the agency, severing ties with the newly made business deal. However, now that a year later, West and Brown have reunited ahead of an NBA game, let’s take a look at their conflicting but worthwhile relationship. 

What is Donda Sports Group?

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In 2022, Kanye West stepped into the sports universe with his Donda Sports Academy to tie up with athletes to support students equally in the professional and wellness sectors. It was a joint marketing venture by the rapper and Justin Laboy, who was looking forward to changing the athletic panorama. The idea was to include a sportsperson’s perspective on the horizon with Antonio Brown’s presidency for the group.

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The school is located in Simi Valley, California. There was also a non-disclosure agreement about the academy’s work to be signed by members of the community to avoid the public eye. Donda Doves is the name of the organization’s basketball team, which was even featured on the cover of Slam in January 2022.

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Being the brainchild of the global influence, it looked forward to the participation of many big-impact athletes from different fields of sports.

When did Donda Sports partner with Jaylen Brown?

After its formation in early 2022, Jaylen Brown from the Boston Celtics struck a deal with Kanye West for Donda Sports in June, of the same year. Brown’s participation was a part of his desire to be a reformer of social sustainability and justice. The academy also partnered with Aaron Donald from the football grounds and Kyrie Irving from the Dallas Mavericks. Kanye West’s deep delving into the sports journey also created a big impact on his son, Saint West. 

The father-son pair attended several games throughout the year. And during a play-off between the Boston Celtics and Warriors, he also introduced Saint to Brown. Soon after, the friendship with Brown bloomed into a full-fledged partnership as he became the first pro-athlete from the NBA arena to join West’s academy.

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Yet, soon after the much-anticipated deal took its charge, it ended up in splits.

When did Jaylen Brown terminate his partnership with Donda Sports?

Good things do not last forever. Hence, in October itself, Brown cut his ties with the group, citing the controversies surrounding Kanye West at the time. But Ye’s loss was not only pertaining to the point guard alone. His earlier deal with Aaron Donald from the Los Angeles Rams also hit a low chord soon after, for similar reasons.

Although the termination steered a low point in Brown and West’s connection, Brown’s opinion was largely in sympathy with the academy.

Jaylen Brown’s justification for the cut-off with Kanye West’s Donda Sports

Jaylen Brown’s leaving the sports organization by Kanye West was not a shocker. What, instead, was one, was his contemplation following the deal breaker. Brown’s alliance with the Donda Sports group was his ticket to spread some off-the-court charity and his acknowledgement of the same came resounding. Moreover, he also confessed how he wanted the organization to be seen as a separation of West’s controversy and not in amity with it.

Brown was really upset over having to sever the ties and sacrifice a potential platform. He admitted how he did not think that would be the right decision.”. The NBA legend’s steadfastness in giving voice to “the voiceless” continued even after his leave.

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The extent of Brown’s dedication to the academy was an inspiration to many. His commitment was so magnanimous that he even offered to sponsor basketball tournaments that would invite Donda Academy. 

How Jaylen Brown extended a helping hand to Kanye West amidst the controversy

Jaylen Brown’s anticipation of collaborating with Kanye West’s school was very high. Following the rather short-lived connection with the academy, Brown had grown a soft corner for its purpose. Therefore, staying true to his plans, he wanted that no harm to befall the school. Advocating the academy, he took to his X (formerly Twitter) handle to project his discord with the blame being put upon the academy.

Furthermore, he put up a defensive wall for his previous partnership to condemn the retracting of the academy’s resources “abruptly”. Finally, he stepped in to sponsor tournaments that were ready to host Donda Academy’s basketball team.

Does Donda Sports Group still exist?

After the backlash during the conflict, the unaccredited Christian school was closed for the time being. But hours later, the academy was reopened and since then, the operational updates regarding the same have been classified. Anyhow, crossing a year into the chaos of ceasing the partnership, Kanye West was recently spotted rekindling the lost friendship with Jaylen Brown at the NBA’s Christmas game.

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Kanye West attends the NBA game with a special gift for Jaylen Brown

Taking a break from his musical resurgence, Kanye West was recently observed embracing some family time with North, Saint, and Chicago in Los Angeles. They were also accompanied by Bianca Censori and her family for the Christmas Day game between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Knowing that the rapper will cross paths with his ex-collaborator, Jaylen Brown, he came to attend with a special gift for him.

Ye brought him an unreleased pair of YZY Pods. His surprise for Brown seemed like a token of appreciation for his unfaltering stand with the rapper amidst the heightened conflicts that surfaced last year. 

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After receiving the footwear product, not only did source outlets post the pictures but also Jaylen Brown gave his nod to the sweet gesture.

Jaylen Brown flaunts his YZY Pods on Instagram

Ye’s presence at the Celtics vs. Lakers game on Christmas was witness to the rekindling of a severed bond. Jaylen Brown had previously acknowledged that there were no hard feelings involved in his decision to quit the Donda Academy. The same was also in view of his prolonged defense of the same. Now that Kanye West is on the same page as the NBA star, the controversies look like things of the past.

 

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Especially since Jaylen Brown took to his Instagram handle to showcase the upcoming YZY Pods that Ye got him. Not only that, he also reposted the pages that featured the pictures of him wearing the product. 

Are Kanye West and Jaylen Brown reunited?

Ye’s recent high-profile appearance at the NBA game did not go amiss. And neither did Brown’s not shying away from his exhibition of the Pods go unnoticed. Hence, from the looks of it, it appears that the pair might be back to recommitting their bond. It is, however, difficult to corroborate the same, but the point of appreciation from both ends is giving a green light to this possibility.

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Keeping in mind that the duo is ready to display their connection to the public eye currently, it makes one wonder if they will ever again pair up for another partnership. Should they proceed, the only optimism lies in the music mogul, not failing to uphold their collaboration or even their friendship. As a result, the hopes of a new version of the beautiful alliance await the lookout. 

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What do you think of Kanye West and Jaylen Brown’s history of relationship? Do you think that the duo is looking forward to reforming their bond? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anushka Bhattacharya

472 articles

I'm Anushka Bhattacharya, an entertainment journalist at Netflix Junkie. Armed with a degree in literature, I once wielded my words to catalyze change within society through my work with NGOs. However, as I stumbled into the exuberant hole of crime thrillers and documentaries on Netflix, it was love at first sight and pushed me into entertainment journalism.

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