17. P.J. Brown
Collier Brown Jr., known more popularly as P.J., was a 6'11" power forward and center from Detroit, MI. Born on October 14th, 1969, he attended Winnfield High in Louisiana. The New Jersey Nets selected him in the second round of the 1992 NBA Draft with the 29th overall pick, out of Louisiana Tech. He averaged 13.5 points and 10 rebounds per game through his last two seasons.
For the Nets, Brown played three seasons. In 240 games, he averaged 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 dimes, and 1.4 rejections per game. After the 1995-96 season, he signed on as a free agent with the Heat, for seven years and $34,639,200.
In 1996-97, Brown played in 80 games for the Heat, starting 71 times at power forward. He played 32.4 minutes per game, scoring 9.5 points on 45.7% shooting, along with 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals. He finished with 23 double doubles, and scored 10 or more points in half of his appearances. On March 11th, in a 108-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored 19 points with 15 rebounds. In Miami's next game, on March 14th, he scored 14 points with eight rebounds and a season high six blocks, as Miami downed the Vancouver Grizzlies, 88-82. In a 94-88 win against the Detroit Pistons on April 7th, he scored a season high and team leading 21 points with 13 rebounds. Brown was selected to the NBA's All-Defensive second team, his first such honor. The Heat finished at 61-21, qualifying for the NBA Playoffs with the second seed in the Eastern Conference (the Chicago Bulls went 69-13). Miami defeated the Orlando Magic three-games-to-two and the New York Knicks in seven before losing the Eastern Conference Finals to Chicago in five games. Brown played in 15 of Miami's 17 games, averaging 8.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per contest.
1997-98 would see Brown start each of the 74 games in which he appeared at power forward. He scored 9.6 points on 47.1% shooting, playing in 31.9 minutes per game. He also added 8.6 boards, 1.4 helpers, and 1.3 blocks per contest. In his starts, the Heat posted a 48-26 record, seeing Brown rack up 21 double doubles and 36 performances of 10 or more points. In an 82-78 loss to the Indiana Pacers on November 14th, he scored a game and season high 21 points with 10 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. He collected a season high 20 boards on February 19th, along with nine points and four assists in an 89-80 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Three nights later, in a 90-82 triumph over the Golden State Warriors, he poured in 20 with 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Heat went 55-27, taking the second seed in the East before losing to the New York Knicks in the first round. For his part, Brown averaged 9.2 points with 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Brown started all 50 games of the lockout shortened 1998-99 season at power forward, playing 32.2 minutes per night. He shot 48% from the floor and scored a career high 11.4 points per game, with 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and one rejection. His efforts resulted in his second selection to the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team. Brown posted seven double doubles and scored 10 or more points on 33 occasions, leading the Heat to a 33-17 record. On February 20th, in an 81-71 win against the Houston Rockets, he scored a season and game high 24 points, going 10-for-14 from the field with 15 rebounds. He scored 13 with 11 boards and a season high five blocks on March 8th, in a 91-89 win against the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 28th, he went nine-for-13, scoring 23 points with 10 boards in a loss to the Orlando Magic, 94-87. On April 16th, he scored 16 points with 14 rebounds in a loss to the Boston Celtics, 82-81. Despite securing the top overall seed in the East, the Heat were eliminated in the first round by the eighth seeded Knicks. Brown averaged 10.2 points with 6.2 rebounds and one dime through the five game series.
In Brown's last season in South Beach, 1999-00, he scored 9.6 points with 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 helpers per game, starting all 80 contests in which he appeared. He again shot 48% overall, playing 28.8 minutes per game, with 18 double doubles and 10 or more points in exactly half of his appearances. He put up 16 points with 11 rebounds and five dimes on December 10th, in a 107-97 win against the Sacramento Kings. 10 days later, in a 92-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks, he poured in a season and game high 25 points with 13 rebounds. Miami again earned the second seed, at 52-30. After making quick work of the Detroit Pistons in three straight to open the playoffs, the Heat were knocked out in seven by New York. Brown started all 10 playoff matchups, scoring 7.5 points and collecting 8.2 rebounds while dishing out 1.1 assists per game.
After the 2000 postseason, the Heat traded Brown with Tim James, Jamal Mashburn, Otis Thorpe, and Rodney Buford to the Charlotte Hornets for Ricky Davis, Dale Ellis, Eddie Jones and Anthony Mason. He spent the next five seasons with the Hornets (400 games), first in Charlotte, then in New Orleans. Later, he played with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Thunder (75 games), the Chicago Bulls (72 games), and the Boston Celtics (18 games). He is the only player to have appeared in all three locations that the Hornets (Pelicans) franchise would call home.
Stat Line: 284 games, 31.2 minutes, .472 field goals, .755 free throws, 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 blocks, 0.9 steals, 14.9 PER, 27.0 Win Shares.
Cumulative GameScore: 2742.3