Players across throughout the NBA will attest to a common slogan for long-term staying power: Know Your Role.
For Bruce Brown, that catchphrase has challenged him, helped him thrive and led him to Denver.
In his four-year NBA run to date, Brown has shapeshifted into all sorts of roles and archetypes while playing for the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets. He opened his career playing as a shooting guard, shifted to point guard in his second season, reinvented himself as a jack-of-all-trades wing in Brooklyn and even logged meaningful time as a small-ball center while solidifying himself as a critical piece for the Nets.
This summer, the 25-year-old finally received some control of his destiny as an unrestricted free agent. As Brown negotiated with multiple prospective franchises, he wanted to know his role — not just in terms of playing time, but also in his own stylistic fit. When Brown signed a two-year, $13.2 million contract with the Denver Nuggets, he asserted that Denver would provide a fruitful on-court marriage of scheme and talent.
“[Knowing my role] was huge, because you don’t want to go to a team where it just won’t work, right?” Brown told Basketball News in a phone interview. “So I knew coming to Denver — the way they play, it’s a lot of cuts, slips [and] corner threes. And then, they got a lot of guys who know how to play the game of basketball, so the game would be a lot easier.”
Of course, Denver also rosters an off-ball cutter’s dream in Nikola Jokic. Brown expects easy on-court chemistry with the back-to-back reigning MVP.