August is Shenanigans Month here at The Dream Shake. The Rockets don't have anyone in the Olympics, Donatas Motiejunas is the only remaining loose end, and even Daryl Morey himself says they probably won't make any deals. That means there's nothing left for us to do but mess around and write about whatever. So we present to you Rockets Blasts from the Past, TDS staff's favorite obscure Rockets. We start with Darren Yuvan. Enjoy.
The phrase "taking one for the team" is defined as when a player makes a personal sacrifice for the greater good of the team as a whole, and perhaps no one personified that concept better than Chucky Brown.
The 6'7" journeyman played for the Cavaliers, Lakers, Nets and Mavs early in his career, while also spending time in the Italian League and also the Continental Basketball Association before arriving in Houston in February of 1995 on a 10-day contract. He would parlay that short deal into staying with the Rockets for the remainder of the year and the entire next season.
During the Rockets' title run of '94-'95, Brown played in 41 games, starting 14, where he averaged 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds on 60.3 percent shooting in roughly 20 minutes per contest. But it was his play in the Houston postseason run where Brown really took one for the team.
The Rockets faced a litany of the league's top big men, matching up against the Utah Jazz and Karl Malone, the Phoenix Suns and Charles Barkley, the San Antonio Spurs and David Robinson and finally the Orlando Magic and Shaquille O'Neal. Brown was trotted out repeatedly as a secondary defender, often when Hakeem Olajuwon went to the bench, was in foul trouble or simply needed a break defensively.
Brown's main purpose? He had six fouls to give. Brown averaged just 15.5 minutes per game in the post season, yet he fouled out twice and finished with three or more fouls eight times in the 21 Houston playoff games. He averaged 2.2 fouls per game, but extrapolate that to per 36 minutes, and poor Chucky racked up 5.1 fouls per 36 in the postseason.
He also spent a lot of time getting dunked on repeatedly and having his 214-pound frame pushed around by superstars significantly larger and more physical than he. But his defensive unselfishness and willingness to do the dirty work also allowed The Dream to sometimes operate from the backside, where Olajuwon could wreak havoc on opposing offenses as a shot blocker.
Brown played in every Rockets playoff game that season, which we all know culminated with a ring.
He returned the following year and actually started all 82 games for Houston at power forward, averaging 8.6 points and 5.4 rebounds on 54.1 percent shooting in 24.6 minutes per game. The Rockets would finish just 48-34 and get swept by the Seattle Supersonics in the Western Conference semifinals.
Brown would be traded before the following season along with Sam Cassell, Robert Horry and Mark Bryant in the blockbuster deal that brought Charles Barkley to H-town. He would go on to continue his journeyman ways, spending time with the Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, again with Cleveland and finally the Sacramento Kings. He finished with 12 different teams on his resume.
Thanks, Chucky, for your time in Houston, and thanks for all the fouls and not minding the repetitive playoff posterizations. Here's one of Brown's best games as a Rocket, a 19-point, 14-rebound affair in 1995 against Dallas when Hakeem was out with an injury.