Los Angeles Lakers: little brother

Shannon Brown relishes being Kobe's "little brother" and his time as a Laker

January, 10, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
Monday, I shared how, despite being competitively wired in a way that flirts with insanity, Kobe Bryant isn't looking forward to a potential mano y' mano with former teammate and current Phoenix Sun Shannon Brown. Kobe took Shannon under his wing from the moment he was traded to the Lakers, and the two developed a tight bond, as mentor and protege, plus good old fashioned friends. Thus, derailing Brown's success, even for just one game, isn't an enticing prospect.

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Obi Wan Kenobi on the left, Luke Skywalker on the right.

"I don't like playing against my little brothers," said Bryant after Sunday's win against Memphis. "I don't like it. I watched him develop. I watched him grow. Taught him a lot of things. Those are always tough games for me."

I wondered, however, if Brown might view the situation differently. He is, after all, the student in this relationship, as well as the player with considerably more to prove. What better way to demonstrate just how far you've grown than holding your own -- or even besting -- your future Hall of Fame "big bro?" But as Shannon admitted during Tuesday's shootaround, those same conflicted emotions exist for him as well.

"It's almost kind of the same way," acknowledged Brown. "I don't want to have to steal the ball from him. I know he doesn't wanna have to steal it from me. The competitive part is still there, but you never want to see a person that you built a close, close relationship to fail in any type of way. Even though, if we win, we win, but [as far as] our personal relationship, it's kind of tough."

This situation lends Brown insight towards what goes through Pau Gasol's mind while matched up against Marc. "They've probably got scars and war wounds from they was young going at each other. But I can definitely understand the vibe and the feelings that nobody really wins, even though somebody wins."

This being "probably the first" relationship Shannon's ever had with a veteran superstar, those feelings get mixed even further.

"It's special for me, because him being the type of person he is, he didn't have to embrace me the way he did. He could have just helped me a little bit and then kept it an on-court relationship. But it went off the court and we built it into a friendship. I'm grateful for that, also."

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Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5