As the Canadian team was headed for their first-ever FIBA World Cup semifinal this Friday, the press was very interested in both stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dillon Brooks. One of them is their nation’s leading scorer, as the other is considered their best defender.
However, when the Rockets newcomer was asked if he was this competition’s best defender, he went all out. “Yeah. This tournament, this world, in the NBA,” Brooks said. “I feel like I bring a different type of defense with my IQ and how physical I play and how disciplined I am on the floor.”
Unfortunately for him, Canada ended up losing to Serbia today and will now say goodbye to any possibilities of lifting the FIBA trophy. Fans from all over are starting to recognize a pattern in Dillon’s pride, saying that his team suffers whenever he gets too cocky.
“Everytime Dillon Brooks talks, his team loses…,” wrote basketball fan Pa Savaoyong after Canada’s defeat.
Dillon Brooks says he’s the best in the world 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 7, 2023
Nevertheless, the Rockets guard did his job during his nation’s journey to the semifinals, as he would commonly be tasked with limiting the opposition’s star player. In the Quarter Finals, for example, he defended against Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, who only hit 8-of-20 shots and felt so frustrated that he was tossed out of the match on two technical fouls.
“A lot of people don’t like him,” the Dallas superstar said after the contest. “But I respect him for what he does.”
During the broadcast of Canada’s 100-89 victory over the Europeans, the boom mics and footage picked up Brooks shouting specific instructions at his teammates over how to stop Doncic’s attacks. “Guard him here,” the NBA player barked. “You know what I’m saying? Let him go that way. We have help, we got rotations, we get steals.”
His head coach Jordi Fernandez, thinks just as highly of him as Brooks thinks of himself.
“I think he’s the best defender, with Lu Dort, the best perimeter defender in this competition,” the Canada trainer assured. “I think [Wednesday] it was a defensive clinic of leading with his chest, showing his hands, pressuring full court. And if you don’t think that way, you don’t like basketball.”
Dillon says he’s happy about leaving the Grizzlies for a new challenge and will provide the Rockets with a new ‘edge to the game’
Just as Ime Udoka was hired as the new Houston head coach, Brooks was traded in from Memphis shortly after. The 27-year-old is convinced he will bring something new to a Texan franchise that needs more balance in their defensive side of the floor.
“He knows that I bring a different type of edge to the game,” the former Grizzly said. “I have my ups and downs with it. But I can teach young guys. Houston was a great offensive team. They just needed more on the defensive end, stressing priority on the defensive end.”
Now that Brooks is set to receive $86 million guaranteed from Houston, he feels ready to take on a new leadership role for the Rockets franchise.
“Just having a positive mindset, knowing that it’s gonna be a transition day by day,” Brooks said. “Getting better day by day and finding ways to believe in the details and believe in the little things that get you to where you need to get to, whether it’s playoffs, whether it’s winning the in-season tournament, each game getting better and better.”
Source: Basketball Insider