Ex-Jazz center: Karl Malone’s work in gym was unmatched

mike-brown-bullsFormer NBA center Mike Brown played 11 years in the NBA, with some of the most talented and winning players in the league. That list includes the Chicago Bulls’ guard Michael Jordan, Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird, and Utah Jazz power forward Karl Malone.

Brown now lives in Las Vegas where he helps coach high school basketball and runs a non-profit organization geared toward keeping youngsters out of gangs.

Brown has recently met with “TheHoopsguy”, and talked briefly about his NBA career, and the players he played with.

“My rookie year in Chicago, I was having one of those days where I did not feel like being at practice. Just like any job, we have days as athletes when we don’t feel like being at work,” he recalls.

“We were doing a drill where the first player down the court got to take the shot. We had just played the night before and Michael played over 40 minutes. I watched him beat everyone down the floor every time down and lead the drill. I thought to myself If I can’t give it my best for a couple hours, I don’t belong here. If he can work that hard, why can’t I? That is what kept me in the league for 11 years. It really helped shape my career,” Brown said.

Since Brown spent 4 seasons with the Utah Jazz, he also spoke about the Malone-Stockton tandem.

“Malone’s work in the weight room was unmatched; It was unlike anything I had ever seen,” Brown said.

Speaking of Stockton, Brown said he was a “fierce competitor”.

“You wanted him on your side. He was also more athletic than given credit for. He used to beat Ricky Green during suicide drills by 15 seconds. John was always prepared. He could have a bad shooting night, but step up and hit the big shot,” he said.

The last player Brown talked about was the legendary Larry Bird.

“Early in my career we were on a road trip in Boston. I knew I probably would not play much that night, so I caught a cab to the arena a few hours before the game to get some work in,” Brown recalls.

“I saw Larry Bird there alone. It was hours before tip-off, he had just won a championship and an MVP, yet he was the first one there. I noticed he had gloves on as he was shooting. I walked over to Larry, and asked him why he was wearing gloves. “If I can make these shots with gloves on, they will be a piece of cake when I’m not wearing them,” Brown said.

Brown played at George Washington University in the early 1980s, and was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the third round of the 1985 NBA Draft.

He played 11 seasons (1986-1997) in the NBA as a member of the Bulls, Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, and Phoenix Suns.

Brown averaged career high 7.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg for the Jazz during the 1991-92 season. He appeared in total of 626 NBA games (started 112), holding career averages of 5.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg in 17.5 mpg.

Brown also played professionally overseas. For the 2007-08 season, the Chicago Bulls employed Brown as an assistant coach.

Back in 2012, Brown spoke to NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association), and also shared some thoughts of other NBA legends, in particular the top three centers of the 90’s NBA.

“The toughest person to play against was Hakeem Olajuwon. Patrick Ewing gave you the physical, David Robinson gave you finesse … Hakeem had the combination of both. Hakeem “The Dream” wasn’t really a “Dream,” he was a nightmare,” Brown said at the time.


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