MIAMI — Scott Brooks lost a lot of sleep Tuesday night after his team arrived in South Beach.
No, not because of the city's vibrant nightlife.
But because his phone wouldn't stop buzzing.
At approximately 12:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, after Portland lost a home game to Memphis, Brooks was named coach of the Western Conference All-Star team. The Blazers loss ensured the Thunder would own the Western Conference's best record through Feb. 2, and it meant the Thunder coach would return to the annual gala to captain the West All-Stars for the second time in three years.
The news, though, came at perhaps the worst time, in perhaps the worse way.
Brooks, however, accepted the brunt of the blame.
“I made the mistake of not turning my phone off in the middle of the night,” Brooks explained at his team's shootaround Wednesday morning. “I had phone calls and text messages. So I didn't sleep a lot last night.”
League rules prohibit coaches from making back-to-back appearances at All-Star Weekend. Two trips in three years is as good as it gets.
This one, Brooks said, is significant because of what his team has overcome.
“It says a lot about our organization, I think,” Brooks said. “Going into the year, we had some question marks. But the question mark that we never ever had was (if) we were going to do the work every day as a group. So by me being able to represent the West, it's really a direct result from all of our hard work all of our members of our organization has put forth to make this possible to have a good team.”
In his only other All-Star trip, Brooks' team took a 152-149 win over the East at the 2012 game inside Amway Center in Orlando. Kevin Durant was named MVP that year, scoring a team-high 36 points with seven rebounds and three assists.
Brooks will again have Durant by his side this year in New Orleans. It will be Durant's fifth All-Star appearance and his fourth straight as a starter after he led all Western Conference players in voting with nearly 1.4 million votes.
“It means a lot to us,” Durant said of Brooks' honor. “For a coach to be recognized as the coach of an All-Star (team) that means they put in a lot of work. And we helped him out along the way. He's been such a great leader for us throughout the whole year, and he deserves it. So I'm happy for him.”
The Thunder was 36-10 going into Wednesday's game at Miami.
“It's not something I was anticipating or waiting for,” Brooks said. “I knew we had to win one more game (to clinch the conference's best record). So I was just focused on (Wednesday's) game.
“I mean, if you want to be woken up in the middle of the night, it's a great honor. I'm excited. It's a thrill to be around all the great players in this league, to see all the work that they've put in, to be able to talk to them and meet them, it's pretty cool.”
The All Star reserves for each team will be announced Thursday night. Reserves for both teams are selected by the respective conference coaches.