Q&A: Aaron Brooks

Denver point guard talks bowling, basketball and moving to the Mile High City
by Aaron Lopez

If the Denver Nuggets ever join a bowling league in the offseason, they have the perfect ringer.

Newly acquired point guard Aaron Brooks spent countless hours throwing strikes and picking up spares while growing up in Seattle. His best score in league play is 299, and he hosts a charity bowling event during the offseason.

“I’m pretty good,” he said modestly.

Brooks has played three games with the Nuggets since being traded from Houston to Denver on Feb. 20. caught up with him after practice this week to talk about bowling, basketball and other topics.

Q: How did you become interested in bowling?
A: “My mom and dad met in a bowling alley. They were in a bowling league together. Every Friday night and Saturday night I had to go, too. I would bowl on the side for something to do. I think I was younger than 5. I had a tape, but it was VHS. That probably doesn’t work anymore.”

Q: Rumor has it you once rolled a 299. What do you remember about that game?
A: “It was in 2011. All strikes and the last one’s a nine. It was a good roll, too. I think I left the 10 pin. My brother has a 300, so he was holding that over my head.”

Q: Moving from bowling to basketball, the Nuggets are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Denver’s first-round upset of the Seattle SuperSonics in 1994. Being from Seattle, do you remember that series?
A: “I remember the exact day (the series ended). I was at a track meet. I just finished running the 100 and they announced the Sonics lost.
“I actually played with Dikembe (Mutombo in Houston), and I hated him with a passion (back in 1994). I just remember him laying on the floor with the ball. It was a bad memory. But after I met hit and talked to him, we’re cool now. I was a big Sonics fan. I can probably name everybody they had on their team, all the way to the 12th man.”

Q: Being a Seattle native, was it a tough decision to play at the University of Oregon instead of going to the University of Washington?
A: “I met (Nike founder) Phil Knight on my recruiting trip. I don’t see how you really say no to Phil. UW wasn’t very good at the time. They had five guards. I just wanted to get away (from home). Oregon was Elite Eight when I got there.”

Q: Now in your sixth NBA season, you’ve been through Denver quite a bit as a visitor. Anything you’ve enjoyed about the city?
A: “It’s so cold, you don’t really get out to appreciate it. Now that I’m here and I brought a jacket, maybe now I can see everything. It seems like a cool city.”

Q: When the Nuggets and Rockets were negotiating at the trade deadline, you had to waive your no-trade clause to allow the deal go through. Was it a tough decision?
A: “I have a lot of family and friends in Houston. I was there almost five years total in my career. The connection I have with them was real close. It’s funny because I actually declined (the trade) at first and then went back and thought about it and okayed it. Denver’s an up-and-coming team. They have talent and I thought it was a good opportunity.”