Anthony Brown‘s rookie season ended with him sitting courtside in Los Angeles, watching his idol Kobe Bryant end his stellar Lakers career with a dazzling 60-point effort.
Brown got many lessons from Bryant last season.
Now he has a chance to put those tutorials into use.
The 6-foot-7 forward was the No. 1 overall pick Sunday in the NBA Development League draft by the Erie BayHawks, an Orlando Magic affiliate. Brown was a second-round selection by the Lakers in 2015, appeared in 29 games and started 11 in the NBA last season, and will head to Pennsylvania on Monday for training camp and what he called “a fresh start.”
“The biggest thing that I took away from my time with Kobe was just the preparation that he came with to every game,” Brown said. “Every game that he played, his preparation was so detailed and so focused. The game is just the result of everything you’ve already worked on.”
Brown was the last player cut by the Lakers out of training camp this fall. He was one of two first-round selections Sunday with past NBA experience, joining Travis Leslie – who appeared in 10 games with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2011-12 season. Leslie was picked No. 4 overall by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s D-League club.
“You’re playing NBA rules with an NBA ball,” Brown said. “I think that playing in the D-League and honing your craft there, it’s definitely translatable if you’re able to get to the NBA level. There’s definitely talent in the league.”
A trio of famous sons were among the 105 selections.
Keith Hornsby, the son of Grammy winning musician Bruce Hornsby and who played college ball at LSU, was the ninth overall pick by the Texas Legends, a Dallas affiliate.
Benito Santiago Jr. – a 27-year-old who also was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2010 and whose father spent two decades in the major leagues – went 38th overall, to the Delaware 76ers.
Ralph Sampson III, whose father was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NBA draft, went in the fifth round to the Northern Arizona Suns. He was the 86th overall pick, and has been in the D-League for the last two seasons.
Other picks of note:
– Shannon Brown, a two-time NBA champion with the Lakers and someone who’s spent time with eight NBA clubs already, may be returning to the state where he played his college ball. The Michigan State product was selected in the second round by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Detroit Pistons’ affiliate. “For me, it makes me feel like I’m starting all over from scratch,” he told mlive.com Sunday.
– Palpreet Singh of India went to the Long Island Nets, at No. 80 overall. Bobby Ray Parks Jr., born in the Philippines, was the last pick at No. 105, going to the Westchester Knicks.