A young Moses Brown had a poster of Jason Kidd, was around as Barclays Center was under construction and had a seat in the stands during some of the arena’s early game days.
Brown, 23, could come full circle Sunday by making his Nets debut against the visiting Nuggets in the now 10-year-old arena.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams all over the country, and it’s just cool to be home,” Brown, a New York City product, said after practice Saturday. “Every time we would drive throughout Brooklyn, I would watch the Barclays Center’s progress every year. That was the new team. I remember, growing up, just liking the colors, the uniforms, everything.”
The Nets signed the 7-foot-2 Brown — who is five inches taller than fellow center Day’Ron Sharpe — to a 10-day contract Friday instead of renewing the deal for veteran Nerlens Noel.
Brown starred at Archbishop Molloy before a one-year stop at UCLA.
“He’s looking over the top of Day’Ron,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said in awe. “I’m going to see how the games present themselves, but we do want to see him get some quality minutes at some point. I did that pretty early with Nerlens to give us some answers quickly.”
Brown spent most of the season with the Clippers, but was waived after he was active for 50 games — the maximum allowed on a two-way contract.
He spent about a week with the Knicks’ G-League affiliate before the Nets called.
“Just be ready,” Brown said he was told about his opportunity. “That’s been the thing with my career, anyway: being able to defend the rim and play with a high energy. This was pretty much the main [offer] and the situation seemed better than the other ones. I’m familiar with a lot of the guys on the coaching staff and even on the team.”
Familiarity should lessen the learning curve.
Brown is leaning on second-time teammates Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie for help with new terminology and studying tendencies from the five-on-five scrimmage period late in practice.
He considers himself a defensive “anchor” who has to be vocal and call out screens.
“The timing of different guys and if I can hold a screen for them,” Brown said as one example. “Playing with a lot of different guys on a lot of different teams, you have to adjust to different players and play styles, so being able to go up and down helped me get used to guys I’m playing with.
The Nets are Brown’s seventh NBA organization since he went undrafted in 2019. He is averaging 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 126 career games.
“He’s just a big body at the rim for us,” Vaughn said, “but an agile guy who can run the floor.”
The NBA isn’t immune to March Madness fever.
When Vaughn — a former Kansas point guard — spotted a Missouri shirt on a practice observer, he pulled out a shot-glass-sized handled tea cup from his pocket and started sipping while doing a jig.
Kansas, out of the Big 12, and Missouri, out of the SEC, both played Saturday on opposite sides of the bracket, but their rivalry in all sports is known as the “Border War.”
Guards Ben Simmons (left knee/back soreness), David Duke Jr. (G-League) and Dru Smith (G-League) were declared out against the Nuggets.