Sixers' Brown, MCW back home in Boston

Posted: January 30, 2014

Brett Brown, then a curly-haired point guard at Boston University, used to spend his pregame warm-up pounding the basketball all over the old Boston Garden's parquet floor.

The Sixers coach played at the arena a few times in college, mostly in holiday tournaments against other New England schools.

But he attended enough Celtics games - seated about five feet from the roof - to know the irregularities in the arena's parquet floor.

"I would just find the dead spots," said Brown, who grew up in Maine. "But sometimes, the course of the game would send you to an area and the ball would just go into the floor."

Wednesday night will be Brown's first game as a visiting head coach in Boston and thankfully his Sixers team will not have to worry about any dead spots in the floor. The building was razed in 1997 and the Celtics now play at the TD Garden. The old floor spent four seasons at the new building before being replaced.

"It was an old, dingy building," said Brown. "And it had so much character."

Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams grew up about 45 minutes north of Boston. Wednesday will be the first time he plays at the Garden. The point guard visited the arena with Syracuse in 2012 but did not play in either of its two NCAA tournament games there.

Carter-Williams said he's looking forward to visiting home and planned to have dinner with his family.

Brown's only advice for Carter-Williams was to "have a blast."

"Be so proud of your accomplishments," said Brown. "Go back there and enjoy the experience of playing where you grew up. You're now a starting NBA point guard."

The Celtics and Sixers were at the height of their 1980s rivalry when Brown was at BU. It was a special era, Brown said, and he "loved traveling down to the Garden" for Sixers-Celtics games.

"I couldn't believe how Andrew Toney would just kick the Celtics' tail," said Brown.

Now he sees two franchises in similar places. Brown said both are rebuilding, while also trying to stay competitive.

And does Brown expect that rivalry - the one enjoyed by the curly-haired point guard - to return again soon?

"I say why not?"

Back to the Sevens. The Sixers assigned guard Lorenzo Brown to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League. It is his fifth assignment this season to the Sevens.


mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen

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