He’s one of the most iconic players in recent college basketball history, and the face of Illini basketball for half a decade. Dee Brown, an All-American, and winner of the 2006 Cousy Award (given to the nation’s best point guard) was the cover boy for SI’s 2005 March Madness issue. During that Final Four run, his “poppin your collar” move became a national trend. He didn’t invent; he just brought it back and made it huge.
As accomplished a college basketball player as Brown was, his NBA career is a microscopic footnote as best. He did score 10 points once in a Utah Jazz 2007 playoff game alongside his Illinois running mate Deron Williams, but that was pretty much it. He’s a fine overseas player, and he’ll continue contributing in those leagues for awhile, but what coaching after it’s all said and done?
“He can still make money playing, and I know that’s important to him, he loves to play. But his thing is, he’s got to set himself up so that when he’s ready to get out of playing, he’s worked his way into coaching,” Brown’s former coach Bruce Weber said.
Weber talked about how important it is to make connections when breaking into coaching and that another starter on the 2005 Champaign Campaign Illini team, Roger Powell, knew Bryce Drew through some different avenues, and that situation is actually quite rare.
“When Roger called and asked me, I said you get the opportunity, you got to take it, the thing with a lot of these guys, when they come back from playing they want to make $80-$100,000 and that rarely happens, so Dee will just have to make that decision,” Weber explained.
Watch the video below and you can see Dee Brown’s interview from after the Illini alumni game Saturday night. You’ll also see one handsome devil of a reporter prominently featured in the vid. Same Deal with Weber’s post scrimmage talk. also below.
“Dee and Deron said they don’t know if they’ll ever coach because they saw what it’s like, how many hours we put in, but I think whatever he (Brown) does- Nike, government, being a coach, he’ll be successful,” said Weber.
In this video you can hear Deron Williams’ ringing endorsement of Brown’s potential coaching abilities. (towards the end, near the 2:14 mark)
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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