Former Laker Shannon Brown returned to Staples Center this week and we had a chance to quickly catch up with the guard who contributed to back-to-back Lakers championships. How does he feel to be reunited with Phil Jackson in New York and how does he think his teammates will respond to Jackson’s leadership? How do fans differ in Los Angeles and New York? What about Staples Center compared to Madison Square Garden? Brown told us he definitely appreciates and misses his time in Los Angeles. Check out our Q & A below.
Vic the Brick: Shannon, you’ve been under the guidance of the Zen Master. You understand his coaching technique. What have you told all the fellas about Phil, his style, his energy, the vibes, the whole thing?
Shannon Brown: I think you pretty much just said it all right there. You know they definitely asked me how he is. I just tell them he’s a laidback guy that wants to win. He relates stuff to previous championships and his time in the NBA and he’s going to let us know how we should get it done. It’s just about us going out there and making it happen. It’s simple. No hard feelings. Just get it done.
Serena Winters: What book did Phil give you when you were with the Lakers?
Shannon Brown: It was a book about Obama, his story. It’s called My Father’s Dream.
SW: Did you actually read it from start to finish?
Shannon Brown: Yeah, yeah, I definitely got through it. It was interesting. It was relatable to me, in the sense that my dad played basketball, I’m from Chicago, President is from Chicago and you know, so it was kind of like my dad is the first person that introduced me to basketball and I took it and ran with it. You know, he didn’t quite make it to where he wanted to, but he was all around Chicago on the Pro-Ams causing havoc. You know, just like the book, Obama’s father, he wanted something bigger for his family, so he moved them to where he moved them to. I related to it in such a deep way.
SW: How do you think your teammates would react if Phil came in and even though he’s not the coach, started handing out books?
Shannon Brown: I think they’d read them. I think they know that he just ain’t give you a book just to give it to you. There’s a meaning behind it. And it’s about winning you know, it’s about relating something to going out there, digging into your inner whatever, your chi or zen or whatever and going out there, and keeping your composure on the court and making it happen so I think they’d read it. They’d be open to it.
SW: How do the fans differ here versus New York? Can you tell a difference at all?
Shannon Brown: The fans in New York are quicker to boo, you know if something happens. But I mean…they have my back still. I can’t say what the difference is. It’s very very very similar in the sense that they want to win. You know both great, great franchises and they just want the players to go out there and perform at our best you know at all times. They great fans. They show us love everywhere we go. Especially when something good happens, obviously…Ain’t really too many differences, a lot of similarities.
SW: What about the difference between playing at Staples Center than playing at the Garden?
Shannon Brown: I don’t know. I ain’t got a chance to actually play in the Garden, like enough. You know what I mean? I ain’t got a chance to play enough minutes. Like I got all types of situations going on on this court (Staples Center), you know what I mean? (referring to being a big part of 2 NBA Championships). So I can’t call that one yet.
SW: Those were some good times when you were here, huh?
Shannon Brown: Yes. A lot of great times. I often relive them. I often relive them.
SW: We relive them too, Shannon.
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