Section 316: Diamond in the Rough

    diamondI love and hate surprises.

    I hate surprise birthday parties, everyone lying to you and then jumping out and yelling “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” while you stand there with a Tyler Hansbrough deer-in-the-headlights expression, completely unaware that you have just been had by your closest friends and family.

    I hate the surprise of getting sick. One day you are feeling perfectly perfect and then, like a freight train hitting you at full speed, your throat is raw, your eyes are scratchy and your stomach feels like it is riding the freaken’ Viper at Six Flags while the rest of your body stays put.

    But then there are the pleasant surprises of life. The ones you don’t quite see coming; the ones that blindside you and leave you smiling and nodding your head in disbelief at the randomness and spontaneity of life.

    Falling in love, finding the perfect song for the summer, finding a ten-dollar bill on the sidewalk, Shannon Brown.

    These are the good surprises.

    Back in February when the Lakers shipped off Vlad Radmanovic to Charlotte, little to none of the talk surrounded Shannon Brown, we were all too twitterpated over the arrival of Adam Morrison and his pube-stache and OneTouch Ultra.

    Nobody seemed to care that the Lakers were also receiving the 2003 Illinois Mr. Basketball, a title that has previously been won by the likes of Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, Derrick Rose and Darius Miles (okay, lets not forget former Laker Brian Cook, winner of the 1999 award).

    Most Laker fans viewed Shannon Brown as simply a throw in to make the trade work. Another cast off in a short career seemingly filled with them.

    Brown was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 25th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, but was quickly lost in the shuffle after the Cavs second round pick, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, made a name for himself during the 2007 Playoffs, when he erupted in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals for 31 points, 19 of which he scored in the fourth quarter.

    To Shannon, it seemed as if his NBA career was over before it had started. In his first two NBA seasons with the Cavaliers, Shannon only played in 38 games averaging a little over 11 minutes per game.

    His third season didn’t prove to be any more fruitful. In 2007-08, he only appeared in six games for his hometown Chicago Bulls before his Rookie contract expired.

    Shannon remained resolute, signing with the Charlotte Bobcats at the beginning of this season, and with the faith of coach Larry Brown, Shannon began to show shades of what would eventually come to pass. The best game of his young career came ironically against the Lakers, ten days before joined them.

    In 22 minutes off the bench Shannon Brown scored 14 points and drew a late contact from Kobe Bryant in overtime that fouled him out, an event that Kobe has regarded as perhaps the reason the Lakers did not achieve the league’s best record, all thanks to the efforts of Shannon Brown.

    We all should have known the second that Shannon Brown flew through the air and blocked Flip Murray of the Atlanta Hawks that Mitch Kupchak had found someone very, very special.

    As Shannon’s playing time increased, and eventually eclipsed that of Jordan Farmar, we have begun to see perhaps the next evolution of Laker point guards. In many ways, Shannon is a hybrid of Jordan and Derek, strong enough to battle the Deron Williamses of the world, yet springy and bouncy to no end.

    But, it is what Shannon Brown brings off the court that makes this writer a real fan of his. It is that infectious smile, that wide-eyed, unspoiled “just happy to be here” mentality that makes him a joy to watch. He is everything that is good about basketball, rising from obscurity to crack the rotation in the midst of a playoff run.

    And the best part, the best thing about it is that we have only begun to peel off a corner of the wrapping paper of the Shannon Brown present, it is only going to get better from here.

    • xfellerx

      mario west. not flip murray.

      first.

    • xfellerx

      almost.

    • osm0nd

      you don’t like surprise birthday parties where you don’t have to worry about planning anything and still get drunk off your ass for free? weird. i’m sorry but your stupid shoutbox videos made me not like anything you do anymore.

    • http://yahoo.com markco2

      its all over youtube..

      its mario west.. not flip murray

    • kobeism

      shannon = pg version of trevor

    • crazypostman

      andrew a lot of TLN has been critical of you lately for the bynum debacle and some (i think) unnecessarily critical articles. this is a step in the right direction. shannon brown stepping up has been a wonderful suprise towards the end of the season. fisher is one of my favorite lakers (great player, great person) but hes getting older. i have faith that farmar will get better but he has been sorely lacking this season. shannon is a breath of fresh air and a great addition to the lake show. he makes the most of every minute he plays and i love watching him. i hope he will be back last year. good article, GO LAKERS!

    • domz

      so if farmar will not be our future PG, will he be our future backup PG? hmmmm… i dont think so, but i’ll still give him a benefit of the doubt once he improved his play making skills and defense. and if not, we should ship him out for someone who plays D like shannon.

      but lets not talk about this at this moment. lets take care of the present business and win in salt lake!

    • Diehardfan

      Kobeism said it best! S. Brown has been the talk of the town. Believe me, if this guy shoots the way that he has been shooting in the first two playoff games then it is over for Farmar. Not only that but his defense is amazing and you don’t have to be a bbal expert to notice his agressiveness and eagerness to defend. You just cannot coach that. With him and Ariza on the wings defending the Lakers are a very scary team.

    • r. tomjanovich

      2 interesting articles in a row. i’m starting to become a fan of section 316. the whole bynum anti-hero article… i totally agree. now helping put shannon in the limelight. good job. i, for one, enjoy the articles. keep ‘em coming sir!

    • kb24

      wow i actually finished one of your articles without becoming nautious…at least you make one intelligent contribution to this site, with your reasoning actually being based on basketball for once

    • WifelovesLuke

      OK, Andrew. That’s two decent articles in a row. You are slowly redeeming yourself for a season of hate. lol

      kobeism
      Apr 23rd, 2009 at 3:17 am
      shannon = pg version of trevor

      By far the best analogy I’ve heard. Kudos to you young man!

      Imagine Brown on Mo Williams and Ariza on Prince lebron. Kobe gets to roam free in the lane while Pau and Drew clog up the lane and smash the boards. Sounds so nice!

    • Cookie Monster

      A note to all Laker fans (including myself) do not become upset with Shannon Brown if he makes a mistake. he is still learning the triangle, and has is learning to work with Odom, Gasol, Kobe, etc…

      keep faith in # 12

    • pauu

      Dude, another long analogy. Except this time it only took 3and a half paragraphs to get to the meat, which was actually pretty good considering. A word of advice, introductory paragraphs/run on analogies should be one paragraph.

    • Fan of the Mamba

      Great Article Andrew,

      Keep it up. And remember you can please some of the people some of the time and some of the people none of the time. To thine own self be true. You gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

      By the way I’m another one who agreed with and appreciated your Andrew Bynum article. Bynum was drafted because he was 7 feet tall not because he was a great basketball player. The Lakers then got him a personal one on one tutor who just happens to be a former Laker and one of the best centers to ever play the game to teach him how to play basketball and over this past year until Kobe injured him again that tutoring seemed to be paying off. But he hasn’t accomplished anything yet and thus does not deserve the hero status that some want to crown him with.

      Do I think he will be great? It’s possible if he stays healthy and I pray he that he both comes great and stays healthy, he’s a Laker and hopefully the future of the franchise. Is he a great center yet, No!

      As far as ShanWOW goes, he’s a keeper and has a bright future with the Lakers.

      GO Lakers!!!

    • Moses

      But, it is what Shannon Brown brings off the court that makes this writer a real fan of his. It is that infectious smile, that wide-eyed, unspoiled “just happy to be here” mentality that makes him a joy to watch. He is everything that is good about basketball, rising from obscurity to crack the rotation in the midst of a playoff run.

      ^ I agree with that 100%. As much as i like him as a basketball player, he seems like an even nicer person, and considering Jordan Farmar is the most arrogant backup since Smush, it’s a breath of fresh air to have Shannon here.

    • WallyNewYorkCity

      GREAT TRADE, WE CAN USE THE MONEY WE SAVED BY TRADING RADMONIVICH TO RESIGN LAMAR ODOM. THE FACT THAT SHANNON GROWN HAS A CHANCE TO BECOME THE NEXT FISHER IS AMAZING. NOW WE JUST NEED ADAM MORRISON TO STEP IT UP NEXT YEAR, AND THIS MIGHT JUST HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST LAKER TRADE IN LA HISTORY

    • kb24

      [Comment ID #68880 Will Be Quoted Here]

      better than kwame for Pau Gasol, on vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant???? Obviously the most retarded comment of all time

    • WifelovesLuke

      kb24
      Apr 23rd, 2009 at 12:54 pm
      WallyNewYorkCity on April 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm said:

      GREAT TRADE, WE CAN USE THE MONEY WE SAVED BY TRADING RADMONIVICH TO RESIGN LAMAR ODOM. THE FACT THAT SHANNON GROWN HAS A CHANCE TO BECOME THE NEXT FISHER IS AMAZING. NOW WE JUST NEED ADAM MORRISON TO STEP IT UP NEXT YEAR, AND THIS MIGHT JUST HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST LAKER TRADE IN LA HISTORY

      better than kwame for Pau Gasol, on vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant???? Obviously the most retarded comment of all time”

      LMAO! Especially when you consider that Adam Morrison has been a complete bust in the NBA. His contract will be unloaded this offseason.