Scott Brooks Rumors
Soon after, a close game at 53-48 grew into a 66-51 deficit for the Wizards at halftime. He returned with a vengeance in the third quarter when he had four steals and scored 12 of his 16 points. “He let the game bother him. You got to play with great passion and intensity. If calls go your way, great. If they don’t you have no control of that,” said coach Scott Brooks, who has seen his starting power forward ejected recently after perceived quick whistles on him from game officials. “You have control over your emotions. We have to make sure he’s locked in. We need him on the court. We can’t have him get thrown out.”
Westbrook was 4 of 6 from the field and 6 for 6 on free throws in the extra period. He finished with 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth straight triple-double, his ninth this season and the 46th of his career. The Thunder have won all four games during his triple-double streak, and he heads into December averaging a triple-double through 20 games this season. Former Thunder coach Scott Brooks returned as Washington’s coach, and the Oklahoma City crowd greeted him warmly. Brooks coached the Thunder for seven years and led them to the Western Conference Finals three times and the NBA Finals once. “I’m humbled that they did that for me, and I appreciate it,” Brooks said. “I’m glad they came out and supported their team and showed kind of what we did throughout the years.”
He embraced mistakes and encouraged his young players to learn through making them — specifically with Westbrook, who Brooks religiously defended. In many ways, the Russell Westbrook we’re watching today is a result of Brooks’ dedicated commitment to letting Westbrook figure it out on his own. Brooks was the original #LetWestbrookBeWestbrook apostle. “Scotty’s my guy,” Westbrook said on Tuesday. “He gave me a real shot to be able to do some of the things [I do] and make mistakes and he always had my back in that situation. Especially when I first got here. He was always the one who had my back through those times, and he’s obviously a good coach as well.”
There was a certain innocence to the Brooks era. It was the best of the Thunder, the up and comers with all the talent and all the flaws. Fans continue to have a deep appreciation for Brooks, not just because he was at the heart of the rise of the franchise, but because of his humanity. “You’re not going to find anybody with anything bad to say about that guy,” Nick Collison said. “He had a way with people.”
Scott Brooks returns to familiar territory Wednesday night, though the view will be very different. Brooks’ Washington Wizards (6-10) head to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder (11-8), the first time the coach will face the team he coached for seven seasons. “That’s a little ambitious if I’m thinking they’re gonna give me an ovation,” Brooks said Tuesday night, then added that he was “hoping” for a warm response.
Talking to both of them, I think we can get there. John has the ability to impact the game without scoring, by just defending and passing.” Will he remain happy doing that? “I can’t answer that with 100 percent certainty,” Brooks admits. “If Kyrie Irving is going for 40 and he’s having a bad shooting game, is he going to worry about the game or…? We’ll see. If you’re going to be a leader, it’s about doing the things to lead your team and moving on to the next game.”
The Wizards certainly hope to finish better than the Thunder did that year, and Watson believes they will. But he urged those criticizing Brooks to look at the whole picture. “You can’t really judge him on this situation. He inherited his entire roster. He had no imprint on this entire roster. So, moving forward, you will see the Scott Brooks effect take place. He understands what it’s like to have younger talent and build them to a winning mindset,” Watson said.