Scott Brooks on Michael Jordan’s legacy, the ESPN documentary, plumbers and electricians
Scott Brooks is a master of self-irony, often in the form of papa jokes. Despite having played in the NBA for 10 years and having a championship ring, he likes to joke that he wasn’t good, didn’t play minutes, and was dominated by the best players of the era.
These jokes are of course funny because they are not true. Playing in the NBA for a decade isn’t easy, especially as a point guard who is six feet tall.
And there seems to be a line with him too. He can joke about his career, but be careful if you joke about it yourself. His friend Mike Breen, a legendary broadcaster, gave us an example of this during a press conference in March at the Capital One Arena. Breen playfully asked how Brooks would react to hitting zero points in an NBA game, implying that this was a common occurrence.
Brooks laughed and then replied, “I was better than you, Breen.”
So it may come as no surprise that Brooks will be defending the era of basketball he played in. With the ESPN documentary ‘Last Dance’ set to premiere this weekend, NBC Sports caught up with Washington Brooks to discuss a variety of topics, including basketball in the 1990s.
The documentary shows Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls of the 90s and their rule over the NBA. It brought to the fore a year-old internet joke that Jordan and other yesterday’s stars wouldn’t make it today because they were up against “plumbers and electricians” back then.
Brooks could be classified in this category by those snarky online trolls.
“Oh my god. That’s funny,” he told NBC Sports Washington in a tone that suggested it might not be entirely funny.
“”[Jordan] would dominate any era. I don’t know how basketball will be played 100 years from now, but it would still dominate it. “
Brooks remembers much of his interactions with Jordan in front of and outside of the court. He can remember the first time he protected him.
“I almost remember it like it was in slow motion. I said, ‘I can’t believe I’m protecting Michael Jordan,'” said Brooks.
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Brooks said he got the same feeling when facing Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. And now, looking back, those experiences seem surreal.
“Sometimes I forget that I played against [them]. I know I played against these guys but sometimes it’s like it never happened. You look at Michael Jordan like he’s above everyone else, “Brooks said.
Brooks was also out near Jordan during an all-star off-season game at Fresno State hosted by former NBA player and manager Rod Higgins. Not only did Brooks play with Jordan, he got to see his routine up close.
“It was like a real game just going behind the scenes and watching him prepare. The guy just has that laser-like competitive spirit that it’s almost intimidating to be in the locker room with him,” said Brooks. “Only certain players have that feeling when you are around them. He was definitely one of them.”
Brooks’ basketball career speaks for itself, enough that he doesn’t have to pay attention to those who downplayed the quality of basketball in the 1990s or what Jordan did to players like him. But there is one person he looks forward to: his son Chance.
Brooks is back home in California and lives with his wife and two children. He believes the documentary will support much of what Brooks Chance has told over the years.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be really interesting for my son to see. He’s seen highlights and everything and he heard me talk about Jordan. But he’ll be able to see all of these great players that he’s talking about.” I’m looking forward to it, just like everyone else, “said Brooks.
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