Dead­line this time went bet­ter for Brooks

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - D.C. SPORTS BOG BY SCOTT ALLEN scott.allen@wash­post.com

The NBA re­turned to ac­tion af­ter the all-star break with six games Thurs­day, and all of them tipped off long af­ter the league’s 3 p.m. trade dead­line. That wasn’t al­ways the case, as Wizards Coach Scott Brooks knows bet­ter than most. On Feb. 23, 1995, Brooks was traded from the Rock­ets to the Mav­er­icks for guard Mor­lon Wi­ley and a sec­ond-round draft pick, and he learned of the deal at half­time of the Rock­ets’ game against the Pis­tons.

“Aw man, why would you bring that up?” Brooks said Thurs­day when asked about the trade dur­ing his weekly ap­pear­ance with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “I was hav­ing a good morn­ing. That was one of the bad days of my life in the NBA. At half­time of the game, we go back, Coach [Rudy] Tom­janovich makes some half­time ad­just­ments . . . . We come onto the court, and we’re in the layup line, and all of a sud­den the gen­eral man­ager grabs me out of the layup line and says, ‘Hey, Scott, I got to talk to you.’ So he pulls me out of the line, brings me back to the locker room and he says, ‘Hey, you’ve been traded.’ I was like, ‘What?’ ”

Brooks thought the trade dead­line had come and gone dur­ing the mid­dle of the first quar­ter. His wife, who was sit­ting be­hind the bench, even gave him a thumb­sup, think­ing they would be stay­ing put in Hous­ton. The Rock­ets went on to re­peat as NBA cham­pi­ons, while the Mav­er­icks missed the play­offs.

“That was not a good night for me, but it ended up be­ing pretty good,” Brooks said. “I wasn’t drafted as a kid com­ing out of col­lege, and at that point I was [es­sen­tially] traded for two play­ers.”

The fol­low­ing year, the NBA changed the trade dead­line to 3 p.m.

“I don’t know if it’s of­fi­cially called the Scott Brooks Rule, but I’m glad they did,” Brooks said.

This year’s trade dead­line was de­cid­edly bet­ter for Brooks, who saw his team add Bo­jan Bog­danovic and Chris McCul­lough from the Brook­lyn Nets. Brooks spent part of the all-star break back home in Cal­i­for­nia, but he said he was in reg­u­lar con­tact with Wizards Gen­eral Man­ager Ernie Grun­feld.

“We talked ev­ery day, and I haven’t had this in the past, where the gen­eral man­ager was like I was part of it,” Brooks said. “That was a good feel­ing to have, know­ing that I’m part of the de­ci­sion­mak­ing, and I feel very con­fi­dent in what we did, and Ernie was work­ing the phones and talk­ing to peo­ple that needed to be talked to, and [se­nior vice pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions] Tommy Shep­pard, they did a good job.” Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/dc­sports­bog

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