Shannon Brown has officially arrived. Not only has the 25-year-old arguably become the best player off the bench in only his third season with the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, but he is destroying opposing defenders from everywhere on the floor. And when the Lakers have needed an offensive spark â€“ outside of that Kobe guy â€“ they have begun to rely on the hard-working Chi-Town native.
Last year, we caught up with Shannon for a Baller’s Blueprint titled, “How To Dunk On A 7-Footer” (Dime #55), right smack in the middle of his nationwide “Let Shannon Dunk” campaign for and his bid for the 2010 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest. This season, however, Brown has been doing most of his damage from beyond the arc.
Currently, the 6-4 combo guard is averaging 9.4 points in only 18.8 minutes of action per game for the Pacific Division leading Lakers, while also shooting 39 percent from three (up significantly from his career average of 35 percent). In fact, his status as a shooter has become so prominent this season, there was speculation of Brown double-dipping on this year’s All-Star Saturday Night, competing in the Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout. (Too bad that didn’t work out.)
So what can Brown do for you? We had to find out straight from the source.
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Dime: Do you take pride in being a contributor off the bench?
Shannon Brown: Yeah of course, I take pride in helping my team win. Whether it’s coming off the bench, whether I get a chance to start or whatever the case is. But definitely want to come out, play well for my team and for myself.
Dime: When you are on the floor, does Coach Phil Jackson give you the green light to shoot?
SB: Yeah, when I’m open, shoot the ball. You know what I’m saying, but just stay within our offense and our offense is going to work for us. And everybody gets a chance to touch the ball and it’s going to fall into the right person’s hands when it’s supposed to.
Dime: When you’re on fire like you’ve been at many points this season, does the huddle change to run more O through you?
SB: It’s not like we gotta get Shannon the ball, you know things are going to happen within our offense where I’m going to end up open or somebody else is going to end up open. It’s all about making the right play. Whether that’s shooting the ball or passing the ball or setting a screen or making a cut or whatever it is, it’s going to work out for us.
Dime: Your jump shot has really gained more national attention this year. Has the three-ball become your go-to move?
SB: No, not at all. I look for taking whatever the defense gives me. Whether it’s a shot, whether it’s a drive or whatever the case is, I just want to be an all-around complete basketball player.
Dime: Do you see yourself as the offensive spark of the second unit â€“ the guy that gets buckets when the team needs it?
SB: I mean, if my team is lacking something, I definitely want to be that person or that thing that comes in and fills that void. So I definitely try to always be a spark coming off the bench, whether we’re winning or whether we’re losing.
Dime: With your shooting success this season, and the All-Star game coming to L.A., is the three-point contest a possibility?
SB: That’s been out there a little bit, but just like last year when everybody was talking about that dunk contest (Brown was eliminated in the contest’s first round), my concentration has been on the team and helping win championships. You know last year I lost the dunk contest, but won the championship. So that’s my main focus, my main goal is to continue to get better individually, as a team and to win a championship.
Dime: So will there be a “Let Shannon Shoot” rally this season?
SB: (laughs) I don’t know. Whatever they want to put together, I’m with it. But I say my concentration is about championships.
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