Sliding on an NBA jersey means everything to Lorenzo Brown. It’s proof that his lifelong devotion, and everything he has sacrificed and devoted to this career, has come to fruition.
Brown is currently a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. But unfortunately, he doesn’t get much playing time (11 minutes a game). With Michael Carter-Williams as the starter and Tony Wroten Jr. as a solid backup, there isn’t enough minutes to go around.
So for the betterment of his career, Philly has sent him to their Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, three times this year. After signing with the 76ers on Nov. 20, he played 15 games for the team. Philly sent him down on Dec. 26, recalled him on Jan. 6, sent him down again on Jan. 8, recalled him on Jan. 10, sent him down on Jan. 14, and recalled him on the Jan. 15.
While being demoted to the D-League is never ideal for a guy already in the NBA—especially so often—Brown has not allowed himself to become frustrated.
“It is just an opportunity being given [to me],” Brown said. “That is what I am taking it for right now.”
Rod Baker, head coach of the Delaware 87ers, is happy with the mentality Brown has kept throughout the whole process.
“His mindset for it has always been good,” Brown said. “He is a basketball player, and he wants to play. And this is an opportunity for him to play and work on his craft.”
With Delaware, Brown is averaging 19.3 points per game, seven assists and five rebounds over the seven games he has played this season., and he feels like the increased playing time allows him to prove himself. But the Sixers want to see more than just numbers.
Baker said the 76ers want Brown to prove he can play at a faster pace, as well as work on improving his defense. And so far, he believes that Brown is making great strides.
“First of all, he is an NBA player—he is more than good enough,” Baker said. “And I think when he is in the right situation, he is more than capable to play.
“But, again, it is going to come down to proving that he can play at a greater speed, and I think that he is figuring out that he can go faster.”
The more inconsiderate aspect of his assignments is the traveling. But fortunately, Brown says his teammates in Delaware make up for the inconsistency.
“The guys are really cool,” Brown said. “They are a young team as well, just like the Sixers, and they all come from similar background, basketball-wise.”
Baker said that the D-League experience has been beneficial for Brown so far because he has cared to hang out and get to know his teammates. But he is also showing phenomenal professionalism, staying after practice and learning his teammates playing styles and habits.
“Sometimes when guys come down [to the D-League], they kind of just look at it as a temporary situation and get in and get out,” Baker said. “Lorenzo was a good teammate. He wanted to know what we do and, as a point guard, where guys like to get in position to score.”
Hopefully, the rising and falling of Lorenzo Brown is over. But, for now at least, he is back with the Sixers, playing at the highest level of basketball. And it’s all he could ever ask for.
“”[Sliding on the jersey] is everything that I have dreamed of so far in my life,” Brown said. “I’m still just a rookie, and I am still developing.
“I am just trying to play my part and do the best I can.”