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Jenni Carlson: Every day is Father's Day for Thunder coach Scott Brooks

by Jenni Carlson Published: June 21, 2009

photo - Thunder head coach Scott Brooks wears bracelets made by his children on his right wrist at all times. PHOTO BY SARAH PHIPPS, THE OKLAHOMAN
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks wears bracelets made by his children on his right wrist at all times. PHOTO BY SARAH PHIPPS, THE OKLAHOMAN

Scott Brooks wears his heart on his wrist.

Ever since he first became a father, the Thunder coach has worn woven bracelets on his right wrist. Right now, he has three. One is for wife, Sherry, one is for son, Chance, and one is for daughter, Lexi.

They are his heart.

On this Father's Day, Americans are taking time to celebrate fatherhood. Brooks does that every day.

"I take it very serious, my role as a father," he said.

He knows, after all, what it's like when someone fails to take it seriously.

Brooks was the youngest of seven children, and before he was old enough to remember, his father left his mother. Contact was rare, and support was non-existent. That left the family living in dire straights.

But Brooks' youth left him blissfully ignorant.

"At that young age, you thought everybody did not have a lot of things," he said. "You thought everybody had this incredible lady that was working, cooking, doing the laundry, mowing, doing everything around the house."

His mother, Lee, filled the gaps in his world. With her, he saw what he had instead of what he didn't have.

Over time, that changed.

"As you get older and you go to your baseball games and basketball games and track meets, you see your buddies' dads in the stands," Brooks said. "You realize, 'Wait a minute. Something's different with my situation.'

"Then ... the anger seeps in."

He paused.

"I had a lot of anger."

Brooks was mad for years. He carried that anger through high school, through college and into the NBA. It became a part of him, the 5-foot-11 white guy from small town California who became an 11-year pro. It remained a part of him until 13 years ago.

That's when his son, Chance, was born.

"It's not worth it," Brooks realized then of harboring anger toward his father. "He chose to do what he did, and you've got to let it go. My job and obligation is not to continue that cycle."

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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