Standing at his locker wearing his warm-ups that were never snapped off, Shannon Brown changed out of the retro 1990's Phoenix Suns jersey and headed home.
Not so much as a drop of hard earned game sweat was shed on the jersey; it is as good as a game worn jersey in terms of quality that any fan could ever want. He tossed it to the team hamper, collected his things, and left the arena as professional as one could be in this situation.
That is what Brown is trying to do, exhibit professionalism as he has become the casualty of a losing season.
"Health wise everything is fine," Brown told me after the game.
Right now he is marred in the battle of being a professional while sitting out, watching what he loves happen right in front of him day-in-and-day-out. It is equivalent to going home one day and having your significant other tell you that thing you love the most... whether that is hunting, bowling, fixing cars, watching sports, or any imaginable hobby that brings a person pleasure. It is something that you are now not able to do. But you can watch from a safe distance as others do it right in-front of you.
No explanation and no rationale, it is just something you are not able to do anymore.
When Interim Head Coach Lindsey Hunter took over he made some bold decisions, first was benching back-up point guard Sebastian Telfair for rookie Kendall Marshall. That had some logic behind it with a losing season, but it was delivered to Bassy the same way. With no explanation.
At the time Bassy handled it professionally just as Brown is handling his demotion to the end of the bench with no realistic reason to believe there is light at the end of it in the form of his coach calling his name outside of practice.
Now with Bassy gone the odd man out of the rotation is Brown.
Despite the electric and sometimes game saving offensive efforts, the offensively challenged Suns have decided to phase out arguably their best weapon and have him sit the second half of the season out.
Earlier this season Brown had some magical games including six fourth quarter threes to push the team past Charlotte on the road, then 22 points the next game in a blowout over Cleveland, and numerous other efforts that established him as a preeminent scorer off of the bench in the league.
On the season he is an 11.2 points per game. As a reserve he is at 9.7 PPG this year (or 11.3 PPG under previous head coach Alvin Gentry), but that has dropped in the 12 games Brown has played under Hunter all the way to 7.1 PPG off of the pine.
So with an offense that is struggling, a team that is not winning, and the teams scoring lightning rod not playing, what is going on?
"Everything you are saying is right, about my health, the offense, all of that, but I just have to stay professional. Keep in shape and wait for my time," Brown said after I asked him those exact same questions.
To his credit he is staying positive. No public out-cry on Twitter or in the papers, normal demeanor on the bench, and a good attitude after games.
For a team not winning and looking to evaluate the youth that they have, where is the logic in pushing away a 27 year old scorer who is finding his niche here as a reserve? Brown is wondering the same thing.