Mar. 12, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown (26) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the US Airways Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Suns 127-124. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.
After spending six years in the shadows of future Hall of Fame players Shannon Brown is confident and ready to step into the starting lineup full time.
As part of the Suns plan for a new beginning they welcome back a familiar face to fill a large void. The team spent the better part of the off-season building depth in the backcourt, but did not address scoring, shooting, or size.
After inking Shannon Brown to a contract to return to Phoenix they now have at least one player capable of playing there.
"The way the season ended on a personal note," said an excited Brown on why he re-signed in Phoenix. "I felt like I had a great rhythm going into the end of the season I wanted to see what a full training camp and a full season and everything getting back to normal how I can go out there and help this team win."
Last season Brown started the final quarter (17) games of the shortened year, and played really well. That was between the starting duo of Steve Nash and Jared Dudley, both of which masked flaws for everyone including Brown. In those 17 games Brown scored 15.6 PPG and shot 40.2% from three. Brown looked comfortable and confident out there like he belonged in the starting lineup. With Brown starting the team went 8-9 overall and nearly made the playoffs.
"I like the moves that they (the Suns) have made," said Brown about the Suns active offseason. "We are a young, energetic speedy team that has an up-tempo game and I like everything the franchise has been doing to better itself. I fit well into that mold."
The sixth year veteran seems to have been in the league forever, but is only 26 years and will be only 28 when this two year (7 million dollar) contract ends. The Suns have signed a young, experienced, very athletic guard as he enters his physical prime to be a young veteran on this team.
Brown has been around the block in his six years in the NBA. First he was a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James that lost in the Finals, then as a part of the Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles Lakers that won a championship, and finally to Phoenix where he got went to finishing school with Steve Nash and Grant Hill.
"I am not too big on bragging on myself, but I do know my resume," Brown referencing playing on good teams. "All I can say is that I am going to go out there and give it my all."
Yeah, Shannon has had a litany of teachers on his way to becoming a full-time NBA starter and his patience has been the key. "I always play it year-by-year," said Brown of this opportunity.
That time in Los Angeles seems to be forgotten to most, but definitely remembered by Suns fans as he played a big role for the Lakers in 21 games giving them an athletic boost off the bench and 4.9 PPG.
Last season was a revolution for Brown as he was able to put everything together on the court as a starter. "If you put anybody in spurts obviously their numbers and consistency isn't going to be the same," Brown on getting a chance to start. "I am grateful for the opportunity and hopefully we have a lot of great years ahead."
If those last 17 games are a sign of things to come this signing came at the right time. Locking up Brown for two years gives them an affordable, calculated option at the two as they start off into a new experiment in youth that they have never ventured into before.
The roster as far as major minute crunchers is set barring a major trade out of the blue, which means a lot will be asked of Brown. He is the only true two guard on the roster with size to compete with the elite in the NBA. This is undeniably a roster with a lot of different games and styles, but they all have one thing in common. Every player wearing Purple and Orange next year is out to prove they are ready for the big time.