Brown more comfortable in second year with Lakers
October 7, 2006
EL SEGUNDO , Calif. (AP) -- Simply catching the ball was a challenge for Kwame Brown last season. Through five days of training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers, that's something he now has a handle on.
It's all about comfort.
"It's not thinking as much," Brown said after practice Saturday. "I'm not as anxious. You can't do anything without the ball. You can think about the spot you're supposed to be at all day long, but you can't do anything without the rock.
"So, I've just basically been trying to slow down. I'm not as wide-eyed as I was last year."
Brown came to his first Lakers camp a year ago as a power forward, but the team soon realized he was better suited to play center.
Brown, the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards, averaged 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. He said he worked out running stairs over the summer to get in better condition for this year.
Chris Mihm, who started most of last season at center for the Lakers, is recuperating from offseason ankle surgery.
"Right now, everybody is pretty much saying I'm the starting center," Brown said. "But you've got to realize that Chris did it all season long, so I'm not looking at it like I'm the starting center. I'm looking at it as everybody is equal and we've got to fight for our jobs.
"I'm ready for him to come back healthy and we go at it and that'll make us better. He's going to push me and I'm going to push him."