Brown’s San Antonio Spurs, of which he is an Assistant Coach, was knocked out of the NBA Finals race late last week, falling to Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
Within 48 hours he was on a plane and headed to rejoin the Boomers in time to lead the team in Game Three of the current series against China, and ahead of next week’s Melbourne camp and subsequent Farewell Series, the Boomers three-game match-up against Greece, tipping off at Hisense Arena on 24 June.
“It feels fantastic,” said Brown on being back in Australia. “The loss to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Championship was a difficult one to swallow — it still is — but for me the good thing is, I knew I had this waiting for me and to be able to come back to Australia in such an important time-frame, before the Olympic Games, it gets me energised again and I’m very happy to be back,” he said.
Although separated by more than 14,000 kilometers, Brown was still able to stay in touch with the Boomers and give his directions from afar, with Boomers training camp sessions being streamed back to him via the web.
He also addressed the group regularly, with Skype bringing Brown into the room and projected onto a big screen for the team to see and communicate with him.
“I give a lot of credit and a lot of praise to the way that Basketball Australia handled this situation enabling all of us to take the circumstances as they were dealt and make the most of it,” he said.
“They made the effort to find the resources to fly Andrej [Lemanis] and Marty [Clarke] over and spend quality time with me during the NBA Play-Offs, to prepare for the camp, to make sure that we’re all on the same page,” he said.
“Once we were in camp we were able to stream through Skype the practices and you have the ability to be introduced in the morning and talk to the group and then have the ability to watch the first game live-streamed very late in America, but perfect on my computer where you could see it without missing a beat. Last night I watched the game in Albany on Skype so I feel very much aligned to the group as best that I can, given that physically I was never there,” he said.
“Coming into tomorrow’s game, I feel comfortable jumping in with them again and look forward to doing that,” he said.
Game Three of the YouYi Games between the Australian Boomers and China tips off at 8:00PM Perth time from Challenge Stadium, with the Boomers holding a series 2-0 lead.