Bruce Brown Striving For Voice Like M.J. In Year Three With Pistons

It's the right time for new team leaders to emerge.

Will Burchfield
May 15, 2020 - 4:39 pm
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Players around the NBA are tuned into 'The Last Dance,' and they're all taking things from Michael Jordan. Why not? As Pistons guard Bruce Brown said Friday, "He’s the GOAT. I don’t know how you say any different or how there’s any comparison. The things he did on the court, it's just different."

Brown was planning on binging the show once it's over, but he gave into temptation this week. And two things about Jordan immediately stood out: his work ethic and his voice. Brown would like to bring more of the latter as he prepares for this third season with the Pistons.

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"He wasn’t afraid to get on his teammates," Brown said in a video conference with local media. "He was the ultimate leader. I think I’m gonna try to be that guy next year, just have a voice."

That Brown would consider such a role is a testament to how far he's come. He was an NBA nobody when the Pistons took him in the second round of the 2018 draft. But through his defense, energy and improving offensive game, he's played himself into Detroit's future. 

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It's not easy to be a vocal leader, as Jordan demonstrated himself. It could be even harder on a team like the Pistons that will likely lose next year more than it wins. Spirits could be down, frustrations could be high. 

But Brown believes he's up for the challenge. 

"I think you just gotta know your personnel," he said. "You gotta know who you can talk to, who you can yell at, who you need to pull to the side, and I think I can do that. I’ve done that at every level except now, so I think I can be that guy for sure."

With the Pistons in the midst of a youth movement, it's the right time for new leaders to emerge. Brown, 23, will be one of the longest-tenured players on the roster next season, second only to Blake Griffin. His toughness has earned him the respect of coaches and teammates, like when he played through a torn ligament in his thumb this year. 

Now he's ready to speak up. 

"I just think I can step in and be one of the leaders on our team," he said. "We obviously have Blake and D-Rose and guys we look up to, but I just think my personality fits with everybody. I just think I can be that guy."