Lorenzo Brown inked a 2-year deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv as the 31-year old floor general joins the Yellow & Blue after a stellar season with Kazan.
“I’m excited to join the Maccabi family,” Lorenzo Brown said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the legacy that’s been created and also playing in front of the wonderful fan base.”
“Lorenzo is a tough player, a leader and he has an excellent passing ability,” coach Oded Kattash explained. “He is a very good decision maker and I have no doubt he will feel comfortable with our method of play.”
Lorenzo Brown was having his best EuroLeague season until Kazan’s participation was curtailed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Along with his 13.8 points per game, he ranked second in the league with 6.1 assists and fourth in steals with 1.5.
Born in Roswell, Georgia, Brown made his mark as a teenager, collecting accolades at the high school level before attending a military academy in Virginia. From there he embarked on a 3-year college career with North Carolina State beginning in 2010 and led the Wolfpack to two consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and was selected 52nd overall by Minnesota in the 2013 NBA Draft.
In the NBA, Lorenzo bounced around between the Timberwolves, 76ers, Suns and Raptors while also having stints in the G-League. He featured in 103 games in the NBA regular season and 4 in the playoffs with Toronto while also being named the 2018 G-League MVP.
In 2016, Brown moved to China and starred for the Golden Bulls with 24 points, 7.5 boards, 5.5 dimes and 2.7 steals per game. He continued to excel while playing in China until 2019, when he decided to take his talents to Europe.
Brown signed for Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) and made his EuroLeague debut which was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, he moved to Fenerbahce and contributed 9.5 points, 3.4 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals for the Turkish team before moving to Russia and becoming Kazan’s leading point guard.
Under Velimir Perasovic, Brown started 23 out of 24 EuroLeague which included a phenomenal 26 point, 6 assist, and 6 rebound performance against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
WHO IS LORENZO BROWN – SERBIAN BASKETBALL EXPERT MILOS JOVANOVIC
Brown arrived at Red Star as a marquee reinforcement before the 19-20 season. The expectations were high, Red Star recaptured the ABA title and was back in the Euroleague after one-year break. However, a few games into the new season, the coach (Milan Tomić) abruptly quit amid discontent between him and the players. It was heavily rumored Tomic he didn’t get along with the new Americans and Brown played poorly during this initial stretch.
When Dragan Šakota came to the rescue after a few games of interim coaching, Brown was a different beast.
Brown arrived in Belgrade after playing in China which is a league that is extremely import-heavy where they expect their Americans to be “the man”. So, Brown tried hard to be “the man” in his initial run – and that didn’t work out great because he was not used to the European-style offense which was being run. He had to tone down his dribbling and be more creative. It took him some time to adapt.
However, once he did, he found ways to dominate the game. He destroyed Olympiacos in December 2019 by scoring 34 points, most of them attacking the rim or going midrange. He had a few good games as the season progressed and was primed to take on Partizan in the playoffs. However, COVID cut the season short and he moved to Fenerbahce in the offseason. So it’s a bit of a “what if” when it comes to Brown’s Belgrade tenure.
In that initial season, I think he was trying too hard to come off well on the scouting reports because I think he was still looking for avenues to return to the NBA. Last year at Kazan, I think he pretty much got to terms with the fact he’s a good Euroleague guard and that he’s happy being here.
He is big and strong and can and will attack the rim but he will mostly threaten from midrange. His 3pt shot is not fantastic, he can knock down an open 3 but it’s not where he will earn his keep.
Brown is stable on the ball – his turnovers have been steadily declining and he has cut down on over dribbling which was his major flaw with Red Star. He gets more involved in the ball movement and his assists have spiked up, while still maintaining a scoring presence.
The guard is not very emotional on the court whether if he hit a buzzer beater, or just incurred a tough loss and because of that it seemed that the fans in Belgrade never quite took a liking to him. There is preference to have the American players a bit more emotional, like Quincy Miller, Charles Jenkins or Billy Baron – but he was respected for his craft.
If Brown continues to mature sufficiently – and his learning curve seems to show he’s heading that way – he will be an asset for Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Yellow & Blue will need him to care, because Maccabi had way too many mercenaries who didn’t over the past 6-7 years and who just went through the motions.