Four things to know about coach Scott Brooks

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Four things to know about coach Scott Brooks originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Scott Brooks is coming back to the Pacific Northwest!

Even though it’s not yet official, reports surfaced Friday that the Trail Blazers are hiring former Wizards and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks to be Chauncey Billups’ lead assistant coach.

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While many around the NBA know about his great relationship with Russell Westbrook and that he led OKC to the NBA Finals during the 2011-12 season, here’s a bit more on the newest coach heading to Rip City:

  • Has 12 years of head coaching experience

Brooks got his start as an assistant coach in the NBA back in 2003 with the Denver Nuggets but it wasn’t until his day with the Seattle SuperSoncis/OKC Thunder in 2007-08 until he was given the opportunity as a head coach.

His first head coaching job dates back to 2009 when Brooks was initially hired as the Thunder’s interim head coach after P.J. Carlesimo was fired.  Over his 12 seasons as a head coach both in Oklahoma City and Washington, Brooks has compiled a 532-414 record. That’s an impressive .557 winning percentage.

As for his playoff experience, the 55-year-old is 49-48 overall in the postseason. But after the Wizards underachieved and finished the year 34-38 this past season that lead to his dismissal in Washington.

  • Has plenty of NBA playing experience too

As a point guard, Brooks played in the NBA from 1988 to 1998 with seven different teams. He holds career averages of 4.9 points and 2.4 assists in 13.6 minutes per game. He played in 680 career contests.

  • Is a coach that players like, listen to, and respect

Just as our Trail Blazers insider Dwight Jaynes noted Brooks has been able to build great relationships with his players over the years.

As Dwight points out:

Brooks has been a respected head coach in the NBA at Oklahoma City and Washington and won Coach of the Year honors in 2010, while with the Thunder. He twice coached in the NBA All-Star Game.

He is known as an outstanding communicator and has been popular with his players. Prior to being cut loose by Washington after last season, his two best players – Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook – endorsed bringing him back, but the team did not come to an agreement with Brooks.

"Coach Brooks was an unbelievable unifier," Washington General Manager Tommy Sheppard said of his former coach’s navigating the Wizards through the pandemic pause last season and their COVID-19 outbreak this season. "And we all got through these very difficult dark moments in our franchise history because his leadership was exemplary.”

As a 5-11 guard, Brooks was undrafted after a college career that ended with two seasons at UC-Irvine. But he played 10 seasons in the NBA and won a championship in Houston in 1994.

  • He doesn’t put up with fans running on the court