“I talk to Emmanuel all the time,’’ [Larry] Brown told The Post in a phone interview. “I loved the kid. He’s been injured a lot during the course of his career and only played eight games in China. But I don’t think Emmanuel has ever been in the greatest shape of his life. That position you have to be an elite athlete and in unbelievable shape. I don’t know until he got to the NBA if he has ever been coached the way he needed to be coached.”
Jean-Micheal told The Post after the February trade that brought his brother from the Nuggets that he believes Emmanuel would be a lot further along in his development if he had spent his freshman year in 2014-15 at SMU with Brown, who stepped down as coach in 2016.
“I just think if you can get him for a second-round pick and bring him to New York, surround him with people like Scott, who isn’t afraid to tell him what he needs to do, I think he’s got a great opportunity with Frank and the way Trey has improved,’’ Brown said. “Those are three darn good guards. They have an unbelievable upside. It’s all about Emmanuel being in great shape because he has a great feel for the game. When I watched him in high school, I thought if he came to SMU we had a chance to win a national championship.’’