Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Rivers downplays Brooks chatter
By Chris Forsberg and Greg Payne
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty ImagesNets rookie guard MarShon Brooks.
BOSTON -- Nets rookie guard MarShon Brooks pulled on a Celtics cap on draft night in June and, with that, will forever be linked in some small way to Boston after being selected by the team with the No. 25 overall draft pick. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed Wednesday night that Boston was simply making a pick for the Nets.
The Nets traded the rights to the No. 27 pick (JaJuan Johnson) and a 2014 second-round pick to Boston in exchange for the No. 25 pick (Brooks). Brooks is in Boston Wednesday night and will start for New Jersey as the two teams meet in an Atlantic Division clash.
"We didn't really draft him," said Rivers. "I don’t even know why they go through that charade. The deal was done before the pick. The Nets called us and told us to draft him. I don’t know why they ever do that stuff. I don’t know why."
Rivers couldn't remember where the Celtics had Brooks on their draft board, but spoke highly of his play thus far.
"On film, he’s an aggressive scorer," said Rivers. "WIth guys out, he’s going to be even more so -- and they are probably going to lean on him more to do that. But he’s gifted. He can score the ball. So he’ll be a guy that, obviously, our defense will have to focus on."
Brooks, a Providence College product, admitted before Wednesday's game to being a bit nervous for his first start.
"You know I am -- I'm nervous. I'm very nervous, but I'm well-prepared," he said. "I've been playing for so damn long. This is another game of basketball at the end of the day. Just got to go out there and play hard."
As for going up against the Celtics and any extra motivation going against the team that traded him, Brooks likewise downplayed the situation.
"I want to make a point, more so, that the Nets made the right decision," said Brooks. "I don't care about the Celtics. I was a Celtic for all of five seconds, so, there's no grudge or anything against them. I just want to prove to the Nets that they made the right decision more so than Boston made the wrong decision."