Anthony Brown models game after former Laker Trevor Ariza

The Lakers games played for a loop on Anthony Brown’s television set. That left the former Ocean View star with vivid memories of the Lakers’ championship runs, Kobe Bryant’s heroics and, yes, even Mark Madsen’s dancing.

But another image stayed with Brown all these years, admiring how Trevor Ariza made a lasting impact on the Lakers’ 2009 NBA title run even if he lacked the star talent or personality to come along with it. Then, Ariza averaged 11.3 points on a 47.6 percent clip from three-point range and also stole two key inbound passes in Games 1 and 3 of the Lakers’ Western Conference finals victories over Denver.

As he completed a five-year stint at Stanford, Brown tried mimicking the game of Ariza, Toronto forward DeMarre Carroll and Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton. All those players represent the so-called “3 and D” players, a rising commodity in a league that has prized versatility and outside shooting.

“They don’t try to do anything they can’t do,” said Brown, who starred at Ocean View. “They keep it simple. They’re efficient. They know who the main ball handlers and main playmakers are and definitely ready for their looks at the same time. They know their role.”

Brown fit that role at Stanford. He finished as the Cardinal’s second-leading scorer (14.8 points per game), best rebounder (6.9) and second in assists (2.5). Brown shot 44.1 percent from three-point range. Brown also defended the opposing team’s top player.

The Lakers drafted Brown with their 34th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft hoping he could bring those qualities. The Lakers finished near the bottom of the NBA in nearly every defensive statistical category. No one on the Lakers’ roster shot at least 40 percent last season from three-point range. The Lakers lacked consistency at the wing position, which partly explains why Wesley Johnson agreed to a one-year deal with the Clippers and why Nick Young might be traded.

“That’s definitely the role I’m looking to play on this team and for my future,” Brown said, mindful that point guards D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson will handle most of the ball handling. “I’m able to space the floor for those guys. I make it easy for them. On defense, I’m competing with the wings.”

Brown will first compete on the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas on Friday. But before he can excel at his position, Brown has experienced some early hiccups.

In just two days of summer league practice, he noticed the difference between the professional and college game, including more physical play, increased speed and a 24-second shot clock. Brown also admitted he has struggled both with learning some of the plays and managing his pace. That prompted Clarkson to offer a few pointers after initially struggling with his own pace his rookie season.

“When you come to this level, you feel like you need to rush,” Brown said. “I’ve been talking to Jordan Clarkson. He was saying to take your time and make your reads and make the right decisions.”

Ariza excelled in that role with the Lakers (2007-09) as well as in stints with New York (2004-06), Orlando (2006-07), Houston (2008-09, 2014-15), New Orleans (2010-2012) and Washington (2012-14). That left Brown with a clear model to follow.

“It’s definitely an opportunity,” Brown said. “There’s not a lot of ‘3 and D’ guys. I’m trying to find a way to get some type of minutes to make an impact.”


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