As you may be aware—if anyone can ever truly be "aware" of Oklahoma City basketball—the Thunder fired head coach P.J. Carlesimo on Friday, because frankly ... the beard has seen better days. More importantly, he has been replaced on an interim basis with a name I thought I might never hear again—Scott Brooks. Maybe I'm revealing my age a bit, but I was appalled to read that news and then see it followed by this statement from a young blogger:
"I honestly had no knowledge of Scott Brooks coming into today"
Even worse, this person actually researched Brooks and the most interesting fact that he took away from that investigation is that Brooks once played for the Albany Patroons of the CBA. A great franchise, yes, but this will not do. You see, in the dark days of the mid-90s NBA, when the best basketball player on Earth was wasting his time playing baseball, the Houston Rockets were showing everybody what was what. It was during these difficult times that one man rose up to cheer on America. It was he, more than any other individual, who brought that title home to Houston and inspired a nation. That man was Scotty Brooks. Brooks was like the über-Eckstein. Like Steve Kerr, Mark Madsen, and big piece of shoe leather all rolled into one. The undersized journeyman shooting guard bounced around several colleges and a couple of NBA teams before landing in Houston just in time for that magical run to the Bull-free Finals. He was the consummate bench player, waving his towels, cheering on his more notable teammates with gusto, but occasionally stepping into a game to drop a dagger 3-pointer on some hapless opponent.
He only played 23 minutes in five playoff games during that championship run, but his real contribution was the fighting spirit that he brought to that Rocket bench. Anyone who followed along during that gloriously dull summer will never forget what Scotty B. (that's what I liked to call him) brought to the table. He will be missed. Oh, wait. I forgot he's still alive. This is actually his third stint as an "interim" NBA coach. (He's 2-6 so far.) The guy just keeps bouncing around, but hopefully OKC will forget to fire him at the end of the year and he'll stick for awhile. He'll always have a home at the end of the bench in our hearts. Scott Brooks: Your New Skipper Of The Titanic! [The Howeva Files] Thunder fire Carlesimo after 1-12 start [AP/Yahoo] Scott Brooks Bio [NBA.com] Scott Brooks [Wikipeida] Scott Brooks [Basketball Reference]