Thunder coach Scott Brooks is about as upbeat a coach as you will see. He’s constantly encouraging players and prefers to talk about a player’s strengths instead of their weaknesses.
That’s why Brooks’ late-practice, high-volume lecture to his team Wednesday afternoon at the end of practice was eye opening.
After players half-heartedly completed what’s supposed to be a fast-paced, 100-pass, spacing, ball movement drill, Brooks screamed some unprintable words and then told his team that he and his assistant coaches, all in their 40s and 50s, could go at that speed.
Brooks almost never uses R-rated language but his tongue lashing certainly got his team’s attention. Brooks informed players they would re-run the drill and go at game speed, not just for this particular drill but every drill throughout the entire season. Players responded by running the drill crisply and effectively.
This isn’t a team you need to crack the whip very often. Players showed up two weeks early for training camp. Many arrive early and leave late for practice. They even practice sometimes on an off day.
But Brooks’ vocal outburst was revealing if for no other reason than he refuses to accept half-hearted effort and he will continue to push, prod and challenge a young team to continue working hard to take their game to another level.
Normally self-motivated, players were reminded Wednesday at practice that Brooks is setting the bar extremely high as far as effort, engery and focus.