With a heavy slate of games since the end of the All-Star Break on February 23, the Brooklyn Nets took advantage of their first two-day hiatus in nearly a month by holding practice Saturday morning.
New Brooklyn center Moses Brown made an appearance after freshly signing a 10-day contract on Friday. Brown was playing with the Westchester Knicks in the G League before signing with Brooklyn. He most recently was rostered by the Los Angeles Clippers on a two-way contract.
“My agent was in contact with Sean Marks and an assistant coach. A lot of people on the coaching staff, they were just calling on my behalf and they just arranged the deal,” he said of how the signing came about.
Brown, who will wear No. 0, said that the Nets were his “main” offer but that other teams were interested in acquiring his services. “The situation itself seemed better than the other ones,” both due to the location in New York City and continuity in teammates from his time in Dallas with Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie, as well as assistant coach Igor Kokoskov. Those players have helped him adjust to the Nets’ lingo, he said.
The 7’2 center grew up in South Jamaica, Queens, and rooted for Brooklyn as a kid, even attending games at Barclays. “We kind of watched the Barclays Center be built,” Brown explained. “Every time we would drive throughout Brooklyn, I would watch its progress every single year and that was just the new team. I think the Barclays Center was finished in 2011, I was 11 at the time. Just growing up, liking the colors, [liking] the Nets.”
He’s got a bunch of ticket requests coming in from family and friends.
Brown scrimmaged with his new Nets teammates and assistant coaches at the conclusion of practice...
Moses Brown getting warm at Nets practice. pic.twitter.com/RsfkzPpSze— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) March 18, 2023
“Playing with a lot of different guys on a lot of different teams, you’ve got to adjust to different players and playstyles,” he said. “So being in practice, being able to go up and down, it just helps me get used to the guys I’m playing with.”
Brown has played with five different NBA teams previously, with stops in Portland, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. With career averages of 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, he brings size and rim protection to the floor. Being Brooklyn’s first true 7-footer in years, he’s focused on being a vocal anchor for the defense and helping his teammates navigate screens while he protects the paint.
Thursday’s home loss for Brooklyn to the hands of the Sacramento Kings featured seven missed free throws for the Nets, who rank Top 10 in shooting percentage from the stripe this year. Four of those misses came from point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who shot an uncharacteristic 3-of-8 from the line.
“I’ve got to at least make four of those [five] misses”, he said at practice. Dinwiddie is notable for frequently pestering officials for calls, a habit that dates back to his first stint in Brooklyn. His behavior will sometimes lead to technical fouls, one of which he picked up Thursday.
“I think there’s a place for everything,” the guard commented. “Right is right and wrong is wrong. I care a lot about the game and winning, so there’s going to be a certain amount of passion in that. But at the same I have a duty to the fanbase to play hard … so I can’t take away from that.”
Dinwiddie added that while he’ll defer to the organization when it comes to sending in plays to the league office, he will often argue his technical fouls with the player’s association.
“I do get my money back for the most part because for the most part, I don’t get them for super legitimate reasons. I get them for, like, ‘ah, that’s terrible!’. But other people will be cussing people out and don’t get techs. But again, that’s stuff that happens behind the scenes that the fanbase may not know about.”
Vaughn noted that the Nets do agree with Dinwiddie that oftentimes he can earn foul calls that are not called, and that the team will send in plays to the NBA, but also that there is an assistant coach who goes through the plays with Dinwiddie to help decide which plays are worth arguing about and when it’s best to conserve his energy.