The Lakers have gone from the leadership of a zen master to the guidance of a dragon master. The new coach of the Lakers recently revealed his life-long love of Dungeons & Dragons, the game which helped launch the role-playing game industry of today.
Brown told Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated he was the Dungeon Master for D&D games with his buddies while attending Sabin Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo. Jenkins reports Brown, with perfect penmanship, wrote all the strategies and character descriptions in the Dungeons & Dragons game for his friends, since he felt his buddies' handwriting was a disgrace. That's not all: Once he put together a game board out of plexiglass, using rulers and pennies to form combat zones. When new D&D game modules were sent in the mail, Brown sprinted up to his bedroom to read the entire handbook and take detailed notes -- making his friends wait for hours in the basement.
Despite now being 41 years old and a successful NBA coach, Brown remains loyal to his inner geekdom, still playing D & D with his 14-year-old son, Cameron. And yes, he bellyaches about his son's writing skills.
After being fired as Cavs coach in 2010, Brown worked as a volunteer assistant football coach for Cameron's middle school team in Westlake, Ohio.
Brown gets his perfectionist mindset from his father, Bobby, who proudly served the United States for 24 years in the Air Force.
Jenkins notes the Lakers coach has some other odd quirks. Don't expect a LOL or G2G on your phone if you become friends with him; he has a strong dislike for sending text messages featuring abbreviations. Brown always signs his full name, although that's starting to change somewhat. "I've gotten to a point where I can sometimes put 'M.B.'," Brown told Sports Illustrated.
Brown still owns a Denver Nuggets jersey from franchise legend Alex English; the coach received it as a gift from his parents more than 25 years ago, and the sports memorabilia looks like it was just made yesterday. The Lakers coach never sliced off the tags.
Unlike many NBA head coaches, Brown never played professional basketball. His Air Force dad had to move the family to Wurzburg, Germany just before Brown's freshman year of high school in Colorado Springs. Brown didn't win any MVP awards in Germany, but he was voted Best Dressed as a senior.
A 1992 graduate of the University of San Diego, with a degree in business, Brown learned the pro game under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and was named NBA coach of the year for the 2008-09 season. He's got a 273-140 (.661) record in 413 games combined with the Cavs and Lakers. In the playoffs, Brown was 42-29 (.592) with Cleveland.
Mike Brown said all the right things about the Lakers at his introductory press conference.
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