Tierre Brown Interview: Brown Discusses Playing for the Lakers, Being Teammates with Kobe, NBA Groupies & Ballin' Overseas
Jeffrey Kee: Describe your upbringing and how you first got started in basketball?
Tierre Brown: I grew up in a small town in Louisiana called Iowa and was raised poor in a low income housing project. I've been a sports junkie my entire life. Baseball was my first love. Football was second and basketball was third.
Kee: You played your college ball at McNeese State. You averaged over 20 points, but did you ever think that playing at a smaller school would hurt your chances of making the NBA?
Brown: I didn't really know if I'd ever make it to the NBA. It was always a goal of mine, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually think it would come true. I always knew I had the skills to make it, but I didn't know if the opportunity would be there. I thank God for Rudy Tomjanovich. Rudy is an extremely fair guy. The politics of the sports industry plays no role with him. Whoever the best performing player is, that's the guy he'll go with. It doesn't matter where you went to school or who your agent is. The best guy plays no matter what and that's extremely rare in the NBA. Having Rudy as my coach was a blessing. I thank God for him being a righteous man.
Kee: As a rookie with the Rockets, were there any veteran teammates who took you under their wing and showed you the ropes of the NBA?
Brown: Steve Francis showed me a lot and stayed on me hard. I learned a lot of little things from him; different moves on the court; things to look for in the defense and how to properly prepare for games. I learned the most from him by just paying attention to him on the court. That dude was gifted beyond measure.
Kee: As a Laker, what was it like playing with Kobe Bryant? And is there anything you learned from him that helped you throughout your career?
Brown: It was amazing playing with Kobe and for my favorite childhood team, the Lakers. From Kobe, I learned how to take my competitiveness to a different level. He was just an amazing player and competitor. At the time, we were both growing as players. Kobe was trying to find his way without Shaq for the first time, while I was trying to prove myself for arguably the most storied franchise in all of professional sports.
Kee: In terms of women, parties and groupies, describe what it's like being a pro athlete in Los Angeles?
Brown: Los Angeles has amazing women and that's putting it lightly. Of course there were groupies. There's attention coming from everywhere, which is not always a good thing. A lot of times, those type of people have ulterior motives and can't be trusted. I tried my best to stay away from it, but it was impossible.
Kee: Looking back on your time in the NBA, what do you remember most?
Brown: I just wish the politics of the NBA would have allowed me to play longer, but I'm so blessed and grateful that I had the opportunity. My best memory will always be making my dreams come true by the grace of God and playing the highest level of basketball that the world has ever known. Amazing.
Kee: Being a former MVP, what are some of the good and bad things about playing in the D-League?
Brown: The good thing is that the D-League gives players a lot of exposure to be seen by NBA scouts night in and night out. When I was playing, the travel was the worst part by far. LONG ASS BUS RIDES!
Kee: Would you recommend that players go to the D-League or play overseas where they can make a lot more money?
Brown: Financially, I would recommend that players get their money overseas first and then go back to the D-League because it's important for them to have money to fall back on just in case they don't get called up to the NBA.
Kee: You played a bunch of years overseas. What was your favorite country to play in?
Brown: Qatar was a great country to play in. It’s very rich and very beautiful. It's the most Americanized, too. Playing in Italy was also very nice, but the people and the fans could be very racist at times. I liked Venezuela as well. They have some of the most beautiful women in the world and it's a great league for score first players.
Kee: Just a couple of years ago, you were dropping 20 points per game in Venezuela. Any plans on playing professionally again?
Brown: Yes, I'll be playing in the Champions League starting in late July. It's a league for former NBA players only. It's sort of like the BIG 3 League, but it's 5 on 5 and hasn't gotten as much publicity.
Kee: What are your goals after your playing days are over?
Brown: My ultimate goal is to own my own gym. I want to expand it nationally and maybe globally. Other than playing in the NBA, that would definitely be my greatest accomplishment.