Former Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown was selected 44th overall in this year’s NBA Draft, and after a series of trades eventually landed with the Brooklyn Nets. His NBA career is off to a good start after a couple of promising performances in the Orlando Pro Summer League. In a Q&A with The Oklahoman, Brown talked about his memories of draft night and his experiences thus far in the NBA.
Q: Take us back to draft night. When you heard your name, where were you and what was that feeling like?
A: I was actually at my aunt’s house back in Louisiana with a select few of my family members. The moment hearing my name called, it was so surreal. I was just sitting back, I got the call from my agent and knowing I was going to be the 44th pick to Brooklyn, it was a surreal feeling.
Did you have a feeling the Nets were interested in you?
I knew they were interested in me. I didn’t know they were going to maneuver into the 44th spot to get me. I’m happy where I landed. This is a great organization. Being out here surrounded by some great veterans, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I think I’m in a great position.
You guys just got a new coach with the departure of Jason Kidd and the arrival of Lionel Hollins, but have you been able to talk to anybody about expectations and what they might look for from you in your rookie season?
Not really. But if I was to guess I’d probably say come in and be a lockdown defender and be ready to knock down open jump shots. I know the older guys are going to create a lot and I’m going to have to feed off them.
What’s this experience like for you here at summer league as your first NBA setting?
It’s a crazy experience, man. It’s just fun to be around it. Fun to have great teammates. To actually be in this position, to be able to put the jersey on, it’s a great experience.
You worked out a couple of times for the Thunder, didn’t you?
Thunder GM Sam Presti was in Stillwater a lot watching you guys. Was there a moment that you thought that maybe you could land with them?
Yeah, I did. I mean, I was high on some people’s boards. I was low on some people’s boards. But I’m happy to be in this position I am now.
What kind of feedback did the Thunder give you?
I mean, you can’t really tell in those situations. They don’t really give you the real feedback unless they really want you.
What do you want to get out of this week?
I just want to be able to learn and pick up on things that I didn’t do at the college level that I can transition to the NBA level. Just playing fast-paced basketball again.
To have Marcus Smart out here with you, what does that do for you, being able to go through this week together?
It does a lot for both of us because we played two years at Oklahoma State, and we always depended on each other. We can always come to each other for advice or anything like that. So having him out here at the same time as me, it’s going to be great for both of us. At the end of the day, I can play my game and he can play his game and we can go back to the room and talk it out and figure it out for the next day.
You and Mason Plumlee are both incredible athletes. Have you two have any dunk competitions in practice or anything like that yet?
Not yet. That’s coming soon, though.
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