OKLAHOMA CITYThunder head coach Scott Brooks is very familiar with his counterpart on the opposing sideline, Tom Thibodeau. During his playing career, Brooks, a longtime journeyman NBA backup point guard, played for teams on which Thibodeau was an assistant in Minnesota and New York.
His work ethic is at a high level. His basketball knowledge and passion for the game is really good. He works and works. He puts in a lot of time, cares about what he does and his team, Brooks said before his team faced Thibodeaus Sunday afternoon. Im glad he got a chance. It took him 20 years to get this opportunity but its well deserved and hes going to be doing it for a lot more years.
Then, Brooks elaborated, opining on Thibodeaus famous singlemindedness.
I mean, the guy has no life. Even when he was young as an assistant, he never wanted to go out to dinner with me. He had things to do, the Thunder coach quipped. Hes boring. He just wants to coach basketball.
Brooks also discussed the Bulls success this season.
Theyre willing defenders. They have a lot of pride in what they do. Their bigs protect the paint, theyre a great rebounding team and they just come at you on both ends, Brooks explained. Offensively, they play hard and they go through screens harder than any team in the league. They set great screens. Theyre a good team. Their record proves that.
Theyre the best team in the league. They do a lot of great things at both ends of the floor, he continued. Chicago always brings the best out of you because they play so hard at both ends. If you dont match that, then youre not going to look good against them. You cant have an off day and win.
Thibodeau and Brooks are both former NBA Coaches of the Year and if Brooks superstar player, Kevin Durant, continues playing the way he has this season, the pair will have something else in common: Coaching league MVP winners.
You could probably mark the conversation down for the next decade or so. The guy is only going to get better. Hes a worker. I love what hes about. I dont talk to him about it. Hes never mentioned it to me. Hes about winning. If youre one of the better players and youre winning the way were winning, hes always going to be in consideration and thats the thing about Kevin, Brooks said of Durant. He scores and hes scoring this year efficiently, not taking a lot of shots to get his points, gets to the free-throw line at a good rate and hes passing the ball better, hes rebounding better. Hes doing a lot of things better for us and were winning games.