Los Angeles Lakers forward Corey Brewer hasn’t been one of their top players this season, but he has played a consistent role for the team, with head coach Luke Walton calling his number for 12 minutes per game in 40 of the team’s 41 contests, entering Saturday.
Those 40 games helped extend the NBA’s longest active ironman streak to 317 straight games for Brewer, but the team’s recent win over the San Antonio Spurs saw that streak come to an end when Walton didn’t send Brewer in a 41st time.
There was an opportunity to do so, as Walton removed multiple starters with less than a minute remaining and the game well in hand. However, in a conversation with Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group, Walton revealed Brewer had previously said he did not want to be inserted into a game simply for the sake of doing so:
“Would he want me to throw him in some game with three seconds, call a timeout type of thing just to keep the streak alive?” Walton recalled to the Southern California News Group on Thursday night.
He said Brewer replied, “No, just coach the game. If I’m playing I’m playing, if I’m not I’m not.”
Brewer’s mindset of not caring about the streak might seem surprising at first given the amount of work it would take to play that many consecutive games, but it also makes sense.
Walton playing Brewer solely for the purpose of continuing his streak would possibly be kind of embarrassing for Brewer. And it would go against the message Walton is trying to send the young Lakers of putting the team above their own individual accomplishments.
The streak was surely something Brewer was proud of and will always be an interesting piece of trivia, but it was always going to come to an end eventually, and it just happened to do so Thursday night.
Given that Brewer is one of the most affable players in the entire league, it seems like a safe bet he’ll continue to bring the same professionalism to the locker room he has all season like nothing even happened.
Denver Nuggets center Mason Mason Plumlee now takes the title of NBA ironman, having played in 312 consecutive games. A.C. Green holds the all-time record with 1,192 straight appearances.
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