The Washington Wizards lost 118-107 to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The loss dropped them to 0-5 in the bubble and officially eliminated them from playoff contention. But one of the bright spots over the last few games has been the play of Troy Brown Jr., who had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in the game.
The previous day, Troy Brown Jr. appeared on the Bleav in Wizards podcast to talk about his experience in the NBA bubble, his development as a player, and his ideal role with the Wizards.
For any fans questioning the value of these additional games or the mindset of the Wizards down in Orlando, Brown Jr. has a message for you.
“I just want to be a great player. That’s the only motivation I need. From a team perspective, we have a lot of guys who want to be great players. We want to prove people wrong,” said Brown Jr.
While their overall record may not reflect that, the play of Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, and Rui Hachimura should reinforce the positive strides many of these young players are making down in Orlando. Hachimura contributed 23 points and 6 rebounds. Bryant finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds.
If the stat lines don’t convince, listening to Brown Jr. talk about his mindset and his desire to maximize his potential should be reassuring. His level of maturity almost makes you forget he only recently turned 21 years old. The progress he is already showing on the court combined with his work ethic off of it should give fans peace of mind that this is just the beginning for Brown Jr. and he can be a key contributor for this team as soon as next season.
Make sure to listen to the full interview for more behind-the-scenes insights from Brown Jr. And also check out his vlog Ballin In The Bubble to see what life is like for the Wizards at the Yacht Club.
3 minutes: The experience so far and how time in the bubble can help their bond over the long-term
5 minutes: Ish Smith and Ian Mahinmi’s veteran leadership
10 minutes: Brown Jr.’s shares his mindset and Larry Hughes encourages him to share that mindset with the rest of the team
12 minutes: His leadership role and how him being vocal helps the team on the court
14 minutes: Brown Jr.’s perimeter shooting and how being versatile allows him to help the team even when his shot isn’t falling. Hughes perspective on how to use that versatility to the fullest
19 minutes: The players he watches and tries to learn from
22 minutes: His ideal position, loving to pass the basketball, and the role of a point guard
24 minutes: How his role evolved and morphed as the year went on
26 minutes: Hughes’ advice to Brown Jr.
28 minutes: Bradley Beal’s impact as a teammate and mentor
29 minutes: Have any of the Wizards called the NBA’s hotline?
30 minutes: Brown Jr.’s Ballin In The Bubble vlog and why he wanted to do that for fans