Troy Brown, Jr. came into the 2019 NBA Summer League looking to build on a rookie season where he played a small role for the Washington Wizards. He only played 52 games and averaged just 4.8 points per contest. Furthermore, Brown didn’t get a regular role in the Wizards’ rotation until their playoff hopes were fading late in the season.
In the Wizards’ 84-79 win over the Pelicans on Saturday, Brown led Washington with an 18 point, 15 rebound performance. He shot just 6-of-15 from the field, but he made the hustle plays to keep Washington in it, especially during a first half when they were struggling to find their way.
When asked about his performance after the game, Brown replied “The biggest thing is that it doesn’t mean anything to get stats. So the biggest thing was trying to make plays. I’m trying to take on a leadership role.”
Leadership isn’t just about telling others what to do or being a visionary. Great leaders are also great listeners and great followers. That’s something Brown focused more on during his rookie season.
“Last year, I took more of a back seat, just to trying to learn and listen more,” Brown said. “This season I want to impact the game more and be more of a leader. I’m trying to do the little things that win games and stay on that point.”
Brown was also pleased with rookie forward Rui Hachimura’s performance last night. Hachimura scored 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting, but only shot 1-of-7 from the field in the first half before getting into a rhythm later on. Brown also took note of how Hachimura focused on the little things besides his shot.
“A lot of people look at stats but then they don’t take into consideration the little things Rui was doing. They don’t take into consideration the box outs and close outs he was doing. Everybody cares about points in the system. Honestly, it’s more than that.”
The little things in basketball are often under-appreciated. But in the long run, these things will help Brown make an even bigger impact on the court than what can be seen on the box score.