Shannon Brown Q+A
The Lakers’ guard talks championships.
by Michael Romyn | @Posting_Up
He may not have been a star name on the free-agent market this off-season, but Shannon Brown had a big decision to make nonetheless: Stay with the Lakers and compete for his third straight ring or take more money and a shot of a much larger role elsewhere. In the end, the prospect of winning won out, and Brown is now gearing up for another championship run.
While Brown is known primarily for his sky-walking antics, the 24-year-old played more than 20 minutes per game last year and put up the best numbers of his career. He talked about his desire to keep improving when I caught up with him in London, as the Lakers prepared to square off against the Timberwolves during the NBA Europe Live tour.
SLAM: Have you been celebrating a lot this summer?
Shannon Brown: Not too much celebrating. I went out a couple of times but I was really just trying to let my mind and my body get a rest and then I got back on the court to do a lot of skill work.
SLAM: What were you working on skill wise?
SB: Pretty much everything. Just getting my skills down, my ball handling, my shot, working on my recognition out there on the court, being able to see everything before it happens.
SLAM: Has Phil Jackson talked to you about what he wants to see from you this season?
SB: I think I’ll have a similar to last year but it’s important for me to be a little bit more aggressive. Also I’ll be helping some of the new guys out. We got a lot of new faces so I will try and help them get adjusted to what’s going on. The main thing is just going out there and playing basketball and trying to continue to get better every day.
SLAM: Do you think the addition of Steve Blake in the backcourt will change anything for you?
SB: I don’t think it will effect nothing. I’m just going to go out and do my thing and I’m sure he’s going to go out and do what he does, but coach has a great way of blending everybody together.
SLAM: Being back-to-back champions, is it hard for the team to stay motivated throughout the preseason and going into the regular season?
SB: Not at all. This is what helps you become champions. Last year we went on a stretch where we lost a couple of games in a row, we were up and down, but that just made us better and stronger for the postseason. Going through preseason and regular season will really help us down the line.
SLAM:Is there never a sense that you can just turn it on the Playoffs, kind of like what we saw with Boston last year?
SB: I don’t think they turned anything on. I think what they went through in the preseason and regular season helped them also and the fact that they won the championship two years ago helped. They had a good team, a good veteran team. I don’t think they turned anything on. I think they just had more veteran experience than a lot of the other teams they played in the postseason.
SLAM: Are you thinking about entering the dunk contest again this year?
SB: I’m not really sure yet. At the moment I’m just concentrating on helping this team win another championship. We want to make history with the three-peat. My focus right now is just getting better every day individually to help the team.
SLAM: If you do make it back to the Finals, who would you expect to see come out of the East?
SB: That’s a long, long time away. The East has got stronger just like we have as a Lakers organization. It’s going to be real interesting to see who comes out of there because you’ve got a lot of great teams over there.
SLAM: Do you have an opinion on what went on in Miami during the summer?
SB: Every team is supposed to make themselves better and that’s what they did. Every team in the league makes steps to do that. That’s what you play the game for, to get better every year and Miami are no different.
SLAM: What’s your reaction to Doc Rivers’ comments about you guys never actually beating the Celtics’ starting five?
SB: To each his own. That’s what he thinks and believes. The fact is we won the championship and that was that. We won games when Perkins was still in. Who’s to say what would happen if he stayed in the game and didn’t get hurt. Everyone has their own opinion.