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Celtics' Brown feels 'like a rookie again'
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/8/2008 12:24 AM

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BOSTON -- Former Bulls power forward P.J. Brown made his return to basketball Friday against his former team.

Brown's first game appearance with the Celtics came at the 1:24 mark of the third quarter, and he took the floor to a standing ovation.

"I felt like a rookie again," Brown said after his team's 116-93 victory. "To have everyone embrace me like that means a lot."

The 38-year-old made a quick impact, stripping the ball from Joakim Noah a few seconds after joining the action. Brown later fouled Luol Deng and fumbled away a pass on his first offensive touch. He ended up grabbing 6 rebounds in 6 minutes and scoring 3 points.

The Bulls acquired Brown from the Hornets for Tyson Chandler in July 2006. He was a significant contributor last season, averaging 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 49 starts. The Bulls were interested in bringing back Brown for another year, but he opted to stay home in New Orleans until signing with the Celtics last week.

He recently told Boston reporters that he didn't want to talk about his Chicago experience.

"I just don't have nothing to say; '06-07 is gone and there's nothing to say, that's all," he said following Friday's game.

Brown also confirmed that the Bulls never presented him with a sign-and-trade scenario while they still held his rights.

Friends from LSU: Boston center Glen Davis and Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas have been best friends since grade school. They both grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and were teammates at LSU.

Thomas did not dress for Friday's contest because he was serving the second of a two-game suspension for skipping practice Wednesday.

"We always stay in close touch. That's what best friends do," Davis said before the game. "He's going to be all right. He's a competitor. He understands what's going on. I'm not concerned."

Thomas is often reserved around the media, so Davis was asked to describe his friend.

"Outgoing, great personality," Davis said. "He's a genuine nice person. He likes to have fun. Loves to meet new people."

Marquette alums meet: Before Friday's game Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked if he knew how many all-Marquette coaching matchups there have been in the NBA. Bulls coach Jim Boylan played at Marquette from 1976-78, and Rivers arrived two years later.

"This might be No. 1," Rivers said. "Somebody asked me that the other day. I called (current Marquette coach) Tom Crean and he didn't know the answer either. So I hope there's more, but this may be No. 1."

Bull horns: Boston's Kevin Garnett finished Friday's game 7 points short of reaching 20,000 for his career. … Former Clippers guard Sam Cassell made his first Boston appearance on Friday but was inactive. … Bulls guard Thabo Sefolosha said he's close to coming back from a groin strain that's kept him out of five straight games.