“Just cool to be home”
A young Moses Brown had a Jason Kidd poster, was there while the Barclays Center was under construction, and had a seat in the stands during some of the arena’s early days of play.
Brown, 23, could come full circle on Sunday by making her Nets debut against the visiting Nuggets in the now 10-year-old arena.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams across the country, and it’s just cool to be home,” Brown, a New York product, said after practice Saturday. “Every time we drove through Brooklyn, I watched the progress of Barclays Center every year. It was the new team. I remember, growing up, I just liked the colors, the uniforms, everything.
The Nets signed the 7-foot-2 Brown — who is five inches taller than fellow center Day’Ron Sharpe — to a 10-day contract on Friday instead of renewing the deal with veteran Nerlens Noel.
Brown played Archbishop Molloy before a year-long hiatus at UCLA.
“He’s looking over Day’Ron,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said admiringly. “I’ll see how the games go, but we want to see him get some quality minutes at some point. I did it early enough with Nerlens to give us answers quickly.
Brown spent most of the season with the Clippers, but was waived after being active for 50 games – the maximum allowed on a two-way deal.
He spent about a week with the Knicks’ G-League affiliate before the Nets called him.
“Just be ready,” Brown said when told about his opportunity. “That’s the thing about my career, anyway: being able to defend the rim and play with great energy. That was pretty much the main [offer] and the situation seemed better than the others. I know a lot of guys from the coaching staff and even the team.
Familiarity should reduce the learning curve.
Brown leans on second-time teammates Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie for help with the new terminology and studying trends in the five-on-five scrimmage period late in practice.
He sees himself as a defensive “anchor” who needs to be vocal and call the screens.
“The timing of different guys and if I can screen them,” Brown said as an example. “Playing with a lot of different guys on a lot of different teams, you have to adapt to different players and styles of play, so being able to go up and down has helped me get used to the guys I play with.
The Nets are Brown’s seventh NBA organization since going undrafted in 2019. He’s averaging 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 126 career games.
“He’s just a big rim body for us,” Vaughn said, “but a nimble guy who can run the floor.”
The NBA is not immune to March Madness fever.
When Vaughn — a former Kansas point guard — spotted a Missouri shirt on a practice spotter, he pulled a shot glass-sized teacup from his pocket and started sipping while making a jitter.
Big 12-out Kansas and SEC-out Missouri both played opposite sides of the board on Saturday, but their all-sports rivalry is known as the “Border War.”
Guards Ben Simmons (knee pain/left back), David Duke Jr. (G-League) and Dru Smith (G-League) were declared eliminated against the Nuggets.