He remains as excited about the game, as interested in every detail of every play and as committed to excellence as any coach I've ever met. And that comes from decades in the game as a head coach (including the Detroit Pistons in the 1970s), assistant coach, scout and instructor.
Working as the Japan women's national team adviser coach for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship for Women, Brown brings a seasoned artist's approach to the job: like a painter carefully surveying the entire canvas -- that is, before painting each brushstroke -- in his role as a wise sage for Tomohide Utsumi's team.
Brown knows how important the playbook is for the Japan national team. He also recognizes that expanding the playbook and the tactics used by the players is an integral part of the process.
Teams must always reinvent themselves over the course of weeks, months and years. Knowing how and when to do so is not an exact science.
Helping Utsumi identify how this should be done for Team Japan is a vital role that Brown is playing.
Brown said his role is similar to that of a business consultant.
"I want to give him ideas," Brown said of Utsumi, "and help to teach the players."
At Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2, Brown spoke very highly of Utsumi following Japan's third win in as many days over Mozambique on June 30. He said, "He's doing a great job of step-by-step (planning). He's established a great foundation."
Brown described the process of aiming for success in global basketball as similar to "building a skyscraper." He noted the Japan squad is not at the ground floor, but not at the top, either.
"To succeed, you really have to get better every single day," he said.
Utsumi and Brown have developed a comfortable rapport, according to Brown. And that makes him feel that his input is welcome -- and wanted.
"He has an open mind about what I tell him," said Brown.
The Japan women's national team last competed at the Olympics in 2004 in Athens, where it placed 10th overall.
Now, a new generation of players is in place to make a run for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Herb Brown's younger brother Larry, the future great coach, played for Team USA's gold medal-winning team at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
So wouldn't it be a neat footnote to history if Herb Brown helps Japan book a spot in the 2016 Games?
*Recent column in The Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2013/06/30/basketball/brown-imparting-wisdom-to-japan-squad/