By John Rammas/ email@example.com
One competition, two players, many commonalities and two different decades. And a matchup taken from the craziest basketball dreams.
Marcus Brown left his mark in the EuroLeague from 2000 until 2011 before Mike James took over in 2014. So, how do they compare?
It’s time to measure them, using not only the eye test but also the numbers for what we like to call the Battle of the Decades.
Guard | 1.91 meters | April 3, 1974 | USA
Marcus Brown was already 26 years old when he first played in the EuroLeague. He brought experience from stints in the NBA (Portland Trail Blazers 1996-97 and Detroit Pistons 1999) and France (Pau-Orthez 1998, Limoges 1999-2000), before heading to Italy and joining Benetton Treviso. It was the first of six teams he played for during his EuroLeague career.
Notably, he won at least one trophy in all six countries where he played in Europe. Here are his EuroLeague clubs:
- 2000-01 Benetton Treviso
- 2001-03 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
- 2003-05 CSKA Moscow
- 2005-07 Unicaja Malaga
- 2007-08 Zalgiris Kaunas
- 2008-09 Maccabi Tel Aviv
- 2009-11 Zalgiris Kaunas
He scored 14 points on 3 of 6 shooting in his EuroLeague debut on December 7, 2000, in a 78-74 road loss at Olimpia Ljubljana and that was only a glimpse of what was to come.
Brown’s first year in the EuroLeague was also the most productive in his career with a 20.3-point average in 10 games (the league’s top scorer was the late Alphonso Ford with 26 ppg in 12 games) before Benetton was eliminated in the quarterfinals. He waited until 2004 for his first Final Four, in Tel Aviv, where he was the top scorer with an average of 25 points. However, CSKA Moscow lost to Maccabi in the semifinal and finished third. He returned twice more times to the final stage, the next year in Moscow and 2007 in Athens, but Brown never played in the championship game.
When his career was over, Brown’s EuroLeague resume included an All-EuroLeague First Team appearance in 2004 and All-EuroLeague Second Team appearances in 2003 and 2005. He retired as the EuroLeague’s top scorer.
Brown finished with 2,739 points in 179 games (15.3 ppg.), which is currently 17th-best all-time. He was also ninth in assists (458) when he retired and he is still among the career top 50. Incidentally, Brown also starred in our first-ever battle of the decades seven years ago, however, while Andrew Goudelock at the time was a fair comparison, James is even closer to him as a player.