You watch the games, you see the scores, but how do you really know what's going on in the 2001 playoffs? NBA.com has infiltrated the action with the ultimate insiders -- the players themselves. We're giving you an exclusive look at the postseason with a roster of player mailboxes that will change with each round.
No one has the playoff perspective of Brown, who is competing in his sixth postseason on the 12th team in his 17-year NBA career. He won a championship with the Houston Rockets in 1995. The journeyman forward provides now veteran support off the bench for the Kings, the team with the league's best record. Sacramento took Game 1 over the Jazz in a squeaker, but then lost home court advantage for the first round by falling in Game 2. The series now shifts to Utah.
After practice on Wednesday, Brown took the time to answer some fan e-mails.
After so many years in the NBA, does a player still go out there every night and feel thrilled to be where they are or do they get caught up in where they are in the schedule, in the standings, in the lineup or what their personal stats are? Is the thrill still there?
Brown: I feel thrilled to be playing, and the thing that drives me is that I like to win. If I can’t be out there playing and helping to contribute, then I want to help cheer on the guys that are out there. I feel good just to be playing, and if I get an opportunity to play, I know that I’ll be ready.
Who is your team's biggest competitor right now? Which team are you most afraid of and what will you do in order to beat them?
Brown: I think Utah, as you can tell, is our biggest competitor right now. In order to beat them we’re going to have to do the little things, like scrap, get all the loose balls, rebound, and we have to be patient on offense.
Do you think that this team is more equipped this year than last year's team to make a good run at the championship?
Brown: I think another year of experience has helped. We’ve put ourselves in a great position that we weren’t in last year in order to win the championship. I also think we need to stay focused and not get caught up in the media hype, or what the media says about our team or the other team. We just have to be focused on the goal at hand.
Chucky, just wondering how important do you think the veterans and players who have been in the playoffs before considering the number of young and inexperienced teams. For instance, say Dream for the Raptors, Clifford Robinson for the Pistons, Payton for the Sonics, etc?
Brown: I think that veteran players that have been there before are very important to young guys, whether they are playing or not. I think that they can share some of their experiences and let them know what to expect. They can help out if guys listen to them.
How does Divac's experience reflect on your team?
Brown: It reflects in a huge way because he’s been through a lot of situations throughout his career. He’s played with a lot of great players, and I think he’s really crafty with his defensive moves. I just think that he’s so important because he’s been to the Finals before and he’s been with all kinds of playoff teams and in all kinds of situations before.
My question for you, Mr. Brown, is whether or not the playoff atmosphere actually makes the game slow down. Every broadcaster I've listened to says that the pace of the game slows down in the playoffs, and unfortunately that plays right into certain teams' hands if that's true (like the Lakers). If that is the case, then, (my 2nd question) will the Kings be trying to adjust to playing more half-court offense or will they try to light a fire and play the games at the pace they did in this Pacific Division winning season? (In other words, will the playoffs dictate the pace of the game or will the Kings?)
South San Gabriel, Calif.
Brown: The playoffs force you to play a more half court offense because teams are trying to give you anything easy. With that being said, the main thing for us to come out and be efficient in the half court while taking care of the ball better. We just can’t make as many mistakes in the playoffs, because they’re not as easily forgiven by the other team.
Having a team with such depth as yours, how do you approach
the playing time situation? I am on my school team and a freshman for high school and sat varsity this year. Next year I am trying to get moved up to get a lot of minutes. How do you approach the playing situation for a team as yours or any teams from the past you played on?
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
Brown: I think like this: I’m going to be ready to play whenever my number is called. I just mentally approach every game as if I’m playing, just in case something can happen, because they can; injuries or whatever. You can’t get caught up in the “Well I’m not playing so I’m not going to go work out” attitude. At this level, I call it being professional, and a pro never knows when his time is going to come, and when it does he just has to be ready for it. If you sit around and complain you won’t be ready for your opportunity.