ORLANDO – Since the signing of Anthony Brown, a 6-foot-7 sharpshooter, on Jan. 10, the Lakeland Magic are 11-2. They are presently on a three-game winning streak and sit in first place in the Eastern Conference.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lakeland’s emergence has coincided with the 26-year-old’s arrival considering what he had accomplished in the G League in prior years.
Brown was a G League All-Star in 2017 while playing for the Erie BayHawks, who at the time were the affiliate of the Magic. That season, the native of Bellflower, Calif. averaged 20.3 points while shooting just a shade under 47 percent from 3-point range.
He was so good that year that NBA teams came calling, including Orlando, which brought him in on a 10-day contract in the middle of the 2016-17 campaign.
Although he appeared in only two games with the Magic during his brief stint with the team, the former Stanford star made a good impression on then-Magic head coach Frank Vogel and teammates.
Clearly Brown, who has also played for the Lakers, Pelicans and Timberwolves since getting drafted in the second round in 2015, has what it takes to play in the NBA. While continuing to enhance his skills in Lakeland, he now hopes this latest G League stint will open up more doors in the near future.
There isn’t just one thing he’s trying to refine, though. In his eyes, he wants NBA front offices to see that he has matured as a basketball player over the last couple years and is still versatile enough to help a team in a variety of areas.
“With it being two years of just playing more basketball, my IQ is better and I’m more mature,” he said about how his game has developed since playing in Orlando. “Skill set is probably around the same. I still have the ability to shoot, play defense and pass. But I think the maturity just from natural age, natural progression is better.”
In Lakeland’s most recent game – a resounding win over the Capital City Go-Go on Feb. 9, Brown showed just how versatile he truly is. He finished with 13 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting while also posting eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.
Ecstatic when he learned Brown would be returning to the G League following his time playing overseas for a pro team in Serbia, Lakeland head coach Stan Heath was able to plug him right in without spoiling his team’s chemistry. The injection of Brown into the lineup, in fact, has helped Lakeland jell even more.
“I never coached A.B. until he got here but I knew a lot about him,” Heath said. “Fortunately we have his rights in the G League, so when he decided he wanted to come back, we were very excited, very happy to have him. You go through these peaks and valleys, these lulls during the G League season and all of a sudden you get a guy like him that kind of gives you an infusion of another really good player that’s capable on any night giving you 20 points. His three-point shooting, his feel for the game, his experience, just tremendous value.”