Scott Brooks admitted this morning that he was nervous before making his debut as interim Thunder coach Saturday night in New Orleans. I asked him if he got butterflies before the game and he said, quite matter-of-factly, yes.
“And you know what, I expressed that to the players,” Brooks said. “I believe in telling the players how I feel and I want them to tell me how they feel. And I told them, ‘If you’re not nervous you don’t care about what you do.’
“As a player, I was nervous for every game from sixth grade on. Because I think if you’re passionate about what you do then you should be nervous, you should want to do well and produce. And yes, I was nervous and I will be tonight and the rest of the season.”
Perhaps that’s why Brooks cracks jokes in the huddle when the game is on the line. You know, break the ice, ease the tension.
“He’s more laid back,” said Kevin Durant of his new coach’s huddle presence. “He jokes around, believe it or not. When we were down five or six (in the fourth quarter against the Hornets) he was joking around.”
When I asked Brooks what the past few days have been like for him, whether he’s lost sleep, he candidly spoke about the impact of his move just a few seats to the right on the bench.
“It’s a great way to lose weight,” Brooks said. “I’ve lost like five pounds the last three days. I wake up in middle of the night more often now.”