Brooks Always Looking for Opportunities to Improve
The foundation of the Thunder’s offseason program has been player development, a responsibility that falls on both the players and the coaching staff.
While players are sent home each offseason to work on their individual games, the coaching staff usually isn’t far behind. Brooks and his assistant coaches have made it a point to spend time with each roster player, whether it’s in their hometowns or at the Thunder’s practice facility.
But Brooks says his duties as a head coach don’t stop there. And while he can’t simulate calling plays in a huddle or giving instructions from a sideline, there are other ways for Brooks to hone his craft, and that includes getting out in the coaching community. Coaches borrow from one another all the time.
They exchange practice workouts, plays and terminology.
So Brooks’ recent trip to USA Basketball training camp was twofold: he was there to support Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, and he was able to pick up a thing or two from coach Mike Krzyzewski.
We caught up with Brooks during the camp.
What can you gain from being here?
“I’m always looking. I go to my son’s practices and pick up things. Coach K is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game and listening to him and seeing how he interacts with all the players, it’s great to see. I have a lot to learn and this gives me an opportunity to get better myself.”
What are some examples of things you learn?
“Well there’s a couple of technical things that Coach K talked about that I never heard. There’s so many different ways to explain what you’re doing on the floor and he said a few things that I picked up and will think about and will go on from there. But that’s one of the best coaches ever. If you don’t learn something from him….I just think he’s great. I love the way he interacts with some of the players. These are some of the best players in the league and he’s always constantly in communication with them and I believe in communication with players, always engaging in good dialect and he’s done that with them.”
This is your second offseason as head coach. Has your approach to the offseason changed?
“You know what, I just think that we stay consistent on what we do every day and that’s not going to change. We have a group of players that are going to improve for a lot of years to come. We can’t change the way we do things every summer. We’re consistent. We believe in what we do and we stick with it and our guys are very receptive to working hard at what we throw at them every day in the summer.”
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