By Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
He has the qualities and the requirements to have a decent career in the NBA. He was selected at No40 of the 2009 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, gradually got more playing time (he also played for the Knicks for eight games) with his last season in the NBA (2011-12) being the best with 8,1 points in 22 minutes on average. But he became a free agent and in the end of October signed with Lokomotiv Kuban and catapulted his career. He participated in the Eurocup for two years (got the title in 2013) and once in the Euroleague, leaving great impressions.
In Krasnodar Derrick Brown exhausted the three-year contract that he signed, but every summer Lokomotiv was pressured to concede and let the player go, most palpably from CSKA last year. His explosiveness and his athletic qualities cannot be found easily in a player who can simultaneously have his kind of contact with the opposing basket in so many different ways.
With springs on his feet and a “terrifying” explosiveness in his legs
He doesn’t have what’s become essential in modern ‘4’s in his repertoire, the long-range shot, but his opponents always mark him at a distance of two feet because of his excellent first step that he has when he drives to the basket. Derrick Brown is also the ideal player for a team that looks for points on the open court since he is so fast and aggressive going towards the opponent’s basket that he can finish almost any play on the break.
He completed his two seasons in the Eurocup (2012-13 and 2014-15) with similar numbers (15,7 and 15,4 points with 66% and 62% in two-point field goals respectively), while in the Euroleague his performances were a bit smaller (13,9 points per game with 58% accuracy in two-pointers), but he was still excellent. Besides, he was the fifth most valuable player based on evaluation (16,2 credits per game) and the ninth scorer! After all, he was the main (and most consistent) reason that Lokomotiv has had this amazing run in European tournaments these last few years.
The team from Krasnodar relied on a different model of basketball in recent years, one in which the leading role was played by Americans with athletic qualities who could run in fast breaks and dunk the ball, firing up the fans.
In Duda’s hands
This is precisely the challenge Derrick Brown now faces after making a smooth transition from the NBA to Europe, because he found a team that played basketball that was familiar to him and the shows that he has put up in all his years as a pro.
The 27yearold power forward now has to adapt in Efes in a different style of basketball served by Dusan Ivkovic, one that demands a bigger dedication in defense and not such up tempo basketball. On the other hand, Brown will be able to feel comfortable every time the opponent’s defense makes bad returns or is slow to regroup so he can strike the close outs. Also, he can become Heurtel’s best friend on the court finishing passes over the rim, while he can be a great duo with Bryant Dunston as a pair of bigmen with extraordinary athletic skills.