Early Friday morning, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Portland Trail Blazers plan to add former Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks as their top assistant coach for the first time head coach Chauncey Billups.
“ Me as a first-timer, I think it’s gonna be really important that I have a ton of experience on my staff… I will have a wealth of knowledge on the staff. I value guys that will be able to communicate and relate to the players.”
When reading that quote from Billups, this hire of Scott Brooks makes a lot of sense.
Brooks has been a head coach for 12 years, has been to the NBA Finals, coached two All-Star teams and has been to the playoffs eight times. He has coached over 935 career games in the NBA, and his record in those games is 521-414 (55.7 winning percentage)
Brooks has also coached some of the league’s best players in Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook in his days with the OKC Thunder. He also coached Bradley Beal and John Wall with the Washington Wizards, and Westbrook again last season with the Wizards.
He is known as a player’s coach. Beal talked about how great he was for his career and Westbrook wanted Brooks to return to Washington for next season.
The Portland Trail Blazers made a smart move by adding Scott Brooks to their coaching staff. Brooks is experienced and should be a positive for the Blazers.
He checks all the boxes that Billups was looking for in his staff and should also build a connection right away with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Brooks has been a popular name for a while in the league but has gotten some criticism for not winning more with the talented teams he had.
His OKC teams were young but should have had more success and gotten back to the Finals at least once. He also wasn’t able to fully get Washington out of the rut they have been in for a while.
So maybe he wasn’t the greatest head coach, but now we get to see what he can do as an assistant coach with Billups calling the shots and having the final say in rotations and schemes. Some guys are better as assistants, and maybe that will be the case for Brooks as well.
Regardless, this is a solid move by the Blazers bringing in a guy like Brooks to help Billups learn the ropes his first year on the job. The Brooklyn Nets did this last year for Steve Nash by adding Mike D’Antoni as his top assistant, and it seemed to work out pretty well for them.
Brooks won’t suddenly make this team a contender, but it’s a step in the right direction, and I’m glad they chose him over Vinny Del Negro, who was reported as a candidate for the job.
This offseason has been a bumpy one for the Portland Trail Blazers, but I think it’s starting to get back on track with this Scott Brooks coaching hire.