Anthony Brown's rookie season was cut short in early March when a stress reaction in his right foot caused him to miss the final 19 games of the season.
Though Brown — who shot just 31.0 percent from the field — struggled with his shot for much of his first campaign with the Lakers, Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco puts a lot of stock into the work ethic that the 23-year-old has shown heading into his sophomore season.
In fact, DiFrancesco compared it to those of some of the greats that he has trained with.
“With Anthony, the most impressive part is … the consistency,” DiFrancesco said. “The real, longterm, successful pros that I’ve had a chance to work with: Metta World Peace stands out to me. … Pau Gasol is one. Obviously Kobe (Bryant) and Steve Nash. That quality and caliber of pro has a certain common denominator that you see.
“They are all different guys with different styles of play and personalities, but the one thing that’s all through all of them is their consistency. It’s like the alarm clock goes off in the morning and they just know, ‘This is what it takes for me to be a pro: I show up in the weight room, I go to the court, I do this, this and this.’"
DiFrancesco sees that same mentality in Brown.
“Anthony has that in a way,” he said. “Some younger guys take some time to develop that. He walked in the door with that. That, to me, is the most important thing.”
Despite the stress reaction prematurely ending Brown's year, he and DiFrancesco have used the circumstance as an opportunity to continue shaping his frame.
The key goals have been to build Brown's upper body while adding strength and power to his hips. Now, DiFrancesco promises that he will feel and look different by the time Summer League rolls around on July 8.
“We really had a chance to rebuild and focus on what he needs to get moving forward,” DiFrancesco said. “The guys at his position are typically very good athletes and pretty well-built individuals. Going from college to pro, you feel that when you’re bodying up against these guys in a way that you can’t really explain until you’ve lived it.”