For the better part of the last 10 years Devin Brown has been a fixture in San Antonio sports; but that’s about to end. Brown signed a 2-year offer sheet with the Utah Jazz last week, and today the Spurs announced that they would not match it, making Brown the newest member of the Utah Jazz.
Devin Brown first began his San Antonio Sports career in high school at South San West High school, where he flourished. He was given the chance to continue his San Antonio-based sports career at the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, ( UTSA) and then a member of the San Antonio Spurs. The only interruption in Browns sports life in San Antonio was a brief stay with the Denver Nuggets at the end of his rookie season(02-03). However, Brown was not born in San Antonio, or even Texas for that matter. In an Ironic twist he was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, His new home once again.
After a Steller career at UTSA, where he was one of the most popular players on the team, In his four years at UTSA he averaged just over 18 points a game and over 7 rebounds a game. But this wasn’t enough to warrant being drafted by any NBA team. But his popularity in San Antonio earned him an invite to the San Antonio Spurs summer league team. Brown impressed the coaches enough that they invited him to training camp. Brown held his own during the NBA preseason and found himself on the Spurs roster opening night 2002.
Browns NBA honeymoon with the Spurs was short lived. He lasted only 20 days; and 7 games. Brown would next join the Fayetteville Patriots of the new NBDL. Brown once again flourished in the NBDL averaging 17 points per game, and 4 rebounds per game. He was also named to the all NBDL first team, the NBDL rookie of the year, and MVP. His play in the league so impressed the Denver Nuggets that they signed him to a 10 day contract at the end of the season. Brown would start two games for the Nuggets and average 6 points a game.
In the fall of 2003 Brown once again found himself in San Antonio, once again on the training camp roster of the Spurs. And once again Brown found himself on the Spurs opening night Roster, only this time he survived an entire season. In his second stint with the Spurs Brown averaged 3 points a game, 2 rebounds a game, while shooting 43%.
The Spurs liked Brown so much after his second year they elected to keep him on their Roster. Brown rewarded the Spurs for keeping him, by having the best season of his career; averaging a career best 7.3 points a game, 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 42%. During March of 2005 Brown averaged 15 points a game before hurting his back which caused him to miss the rest of the regular season. Brown would return in time for the playoffs but his absence cost him as he never got into the rotation and played in only 12 of 26 post season games.
Going into the 2005 off-season Brown was rated among the best free agent shooting guard available. But with the NBA in acting a new rule called the amnesty rule, which say highly touted and veteran shooting guards such as Michael Finley, and Derek Anderson get released; Browns value plummeted. The so called “Michael Finley sweepstakes” has hurt Browns value. But the final blow came when the Spurs won the “Finley Sweepstakes” and signed Finley to a multi-year deal.
The Spurs now having Finley along with All-star Manu Ginobili, and backup Brent Barry all but assured Browns departure. And last weeks signing of the offer sheet with Utah ended Browns decade long affair with San Antonio Sports. Now the only time Brown will be in San Antonio are the two times a year the Jazz visit the Alamo city.
Leaving San Antonio for Utah is probably a good career decision for Brown, the Jazz are thin at the two guard spot having only defenseless sometimes sharp shooting Gordon Giricek, and 18 year old rookie Calvin Miles at the spot. Brown will challenge Giricek for the starting job right away, and Miles won’t see much action at all this season.
Browns biggest asset which will help him win over his new head coach; Jerry Sloan, is his ability to play on the ball defense. This is something the Jazz lacked last season and something they desperately need. If Devin Brown can stay out of Sloan’s dog house, he will be the starting shooting guard this up coming season for the Utah Jazz. He should also put up his best numbers in the NBA thus far in Utah’s system.