Rookie Greg Brown Is Ready To Listen

by Casey Holdahl
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Learning from those who came before you is a wise course of action in most any field, but it is an especially useful habit for players entering their first NBA seasons. Avoiding common pitfalls can be the difference between a long NBA career and being out of the league after one contract, which goes double for players who weren’t selected in the first round, and thus, do not automatically get guaranteed deals.

So as a second round pick who played just one season at Texas, Trail Blazers rookie Greg Brown has already made a habit of taking advice from veteran players. It’s what he did while playing alongside Michael Beasley, Kenneth Faried and Emmanuel Mudiay at the Las Vegas Summer League (“I got a lot of golden nuggets from them”) and when deciding what one of his first meals would be when he arrived in Portland a few days after his 20th birthday to continue preparing for his first professional training camp. If you’ve played or coached in the NBA and have any pointers, regardless of the subject, Brown is willing to listen.

“I’m just gonna play and see what happens. And whatever happens, happens,” said Brown. “I just feel like that’s how it is. They’ve been there, they know how the league is, I’m coming in first year. Just got to listen, figure stuff out and just learn. That’s kind of my expectation for this year, just to learn and soak up all the knowledge from the vets and the staff that I can.”

After averaging 9.0 points on 57 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 19.4 minutes in Las Vegas, Brown returned to Texas where he continued to train while also packing up for the move to Portland.

“I’ve just been in the gym working on my skills,” said Brown. “Ball handling, shooting, passing and going over team defensive principles, going over the plays. And just making sure I’m ready for training camp.”

As more and more players are showing up at the practice facility in Tualatin in order to get in some work prior to the start of camp, Brown has even more opportunities to take in any advice, be it about the life of a rookie in the NBA or dealing with any number of issues outside of the gym. And with a number of veteran players looking for a regular season roster spot expected to participate in Portland's training camp this year, there will be no shortage of sage advice. 

“We had Larry Nance Jr. come in, I’m excited to see how he thinks about the league, pick his brain,” said Brown. “Dame for sure, CJ for sure, Nas -- I’ve been knowing Nas since high school, see how his transition is. Everybody has their story and you can pick something from their story and put it in yours to help you move further.”


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