PJ Brown: "I've never been one to complain and I never will"
Nobody likes to use injuries as an excuse, but having Jamal Mashburn sidelined for the year, and Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire out for extended periods has would appear to be the biggest factor in the Hornets' disappointing start.
PJ Brown: It's the main reason. I think we've done the best we can do with it. We're still fighting through it now, with Baron having a mishap. Through it all, this team has continued to fight. We have had a lot of close ball games against a lot of good teams and just come up a little bit short.
How difficult has the losing been?
PJB: I've been around a while and this is probably the toughest season. We have a lot of young guys on this team and it's part of my job to bring as much leadership, energy and enthusiasm every day no matter what the situation is.
Talk about the leadership you have to exert on a young team that has struggled.
PJB: We have dug a deep hole for ourselves and I try to help these guys grow, learn and mature and become good basketball player.
That seems easier said than done.
PJB: It's tough at times mentally. You look at our record. The playoffs of course are pretty much nonexistent. You try to keep fighting and working and hopefully string a few wins together.
If the injured players come back and you receive a high lottery pick, is this team that far off from contending next year for a playoff berth?
PJB: No, we're not that far off. We have to get our guys back and get everybody on the same page and for the young guys to grow and mature and get better. We have to get experience, which the young guys are getting. Plus with the draft, hopefully that will be a great pick and there will be a few more changes on the roster. I think coach (Byron) Scott and Allan Bristow will get us on track.
Among the impressive young players the team has acquired is guard Dan Dickau, who came to New Orleans earlier this year in a deal with Dallas. He seems to have benefited from extended minutes with the Hornets.
PJB: Dan is fearless. He is not afraid to take the big shot. Dan is becoming more comfortable being a leader and floor general and that comes with getting used to the system. Now he has a grasp of the system and his play on
Despite the Hornets' struggles, you haven't demanded to be traded, although your name has surfaced in trade talks. What's your feeling on whether you are traded or not?
PJB: I am just doing my job and doing what I do. I've heard my name in a lot of trade rumors but I can't control that stuff. I just got to go out and to try to bring my best game each night on a consistent basis. You never know what happen. Everybody's expendable and you never know whose time will come. But I've never been one to complain and I never will.
You have appeared in the playoffs for the last eight consecutive years, so what are your feelings about having no postseason this year?
PJB: Because I've been in the playoffs every year since 1997, this will be a little different for me. I'm always used to playing in May with an extended season. I never thought we'd come to the point where we'd be looking at the draft lottery. I haven't been there for a long time, probably NJ in '96. It's new territory but you always have fond memories of the playoffs and that's why you play, in order to get a chance in the postseason.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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