Brown Providing Toughness, Leadership For Young Sixers
Kwame Brown's imposing stature and forbidding presence on the court belie a percipient and stately demeanor off of it.
Standing 6-11, and weighing in at nearly 300 pounds, he was signed by the Sixers as a free agent this summer, in part, to provide head coach Doug Collins with rebounding, toughness, and size in the paint following the departure of forward Elton Brand. Like Brand, he's been able to influence his teammates with his blue-collar approach to the game.
"He brings aggression and he brings defense," said 22-year-old point guard Jrue Holiday, before continuing with a chuckle. "Having him out there, I know I feel tougher."
A twelve-year veteran, Brown sees his role not only as that of motivator, but also as a calming influence for a young Sixers squad.
"This is a long season. You lose a game and it's like [they want to] reinvent the wheel," he said of his teammates. "[I just tell them to] stay focused, stay positive, and keep working hard. The work will take care of everything if you do that."
Friday night against the Utah Jazz, Brown took his own advice.
Playing a season-high 24 minutes, he forced center Al Jefferson to miss four of his six shots inside the paint and held the offensively minded big man to just four second-half points. Sixers head coach Doug Collins said it was the first time he'd ever been able to defend Jefferson without the use of a double-team.
"[We] signed Kwame to defend and rebound. I've said that from moment one," said head coach Doug Collins one day after naming Brown his Ace of Spades MVP Friday. "Last night, we won the battle of the boards and points in the paint because of the strength and size of of Kwame Brown. He does what he does best, and that's why we wanted him on this team and why we need him healthy."
Brown, who missed all but nine games last season with a torn pectoral muscle, suffered a strained left calf one month ago, but believes he can still give the team solid minutes even as he recovers from the injury.
"Muscles heal on their own, they just take a while. A calf gets worked every day, unless you just [stay off your feet], but with the treatment I've been getting, it's feeling better every day," he said. "I'm just giving what I've got. I can't jump, but I can go out and play defense.
"I think my play will dictate [how many minutes] I play. If my calf is feeling good and I'm playing great defense, then I think [Coach Collins] will leave me out there."
Opposing centers will certainly hope that doesn't happen, as Brown is a player who will make them work during every single possession in which he shares the floor.
"Guys will tell you, every time they see me, they know they're going to have a fight in the post. That's what I do."
Posted: 7:56PM, November 17, 2012