OKLAHOMA CITY -- Scotty Brooks has always had a lot of respect for Tom Thibodeau, but that doesn't mean he has always liked him. The Thunder head coach had the assembled media cracking up before Wednesday night's game when he recounted a hilarious story about his former coach.
"He was a tough coach," Brooks said. "Actually, he was a jerk. I was like [in] my ninth year in the league and he put me he put me with three rookies. I had to get there early, four o'clock, and work out with the three rookies, because he wanted me to set an example. I didn't appreciate that."
Brooks was wrapping up his career with the Knicks in the mid 90s while Thibodeau served as an assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy. It's clear that the pair, who also spent some time with the Timberwolves in the early 90s, developed a solid appreciation for eachother.
"Scott was great as a player. I always thought he would make a terrific coach. He's done a great job here; very competitive guy, studied the game, smart on the floor, so I'm not surprised by how well he's done."
Even Thibodeau had to admit that he wasn't always the nicest guy at times.
"That's probably true," he said laughing, when told of Brooks' comments. "He was a great worker. He scrapped his way through the league; through the CBA and then he did a terrific job for us in Minnesota."
Brooks is just happy his old coach finally got a chance at a being the head man for a franchise.
"He has a lot of passion," Brooks said. "I'm excited for him to get an opportunity. He's earned it, he's worked on his craft and he's going to be an excellent coach."
Brooks believes in Rose: Brooks' praise of the Bulls and their personnel didn't stop there, the NBA lifer heaped adulation on Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose.
"Derrick's one of the best point guards," Brooks said. "I don't like to say young point guards, because he's as good as any point guard in this league. He's quick, he's fast, he's improved his jump shot. It's going to be a team effort to control him, keep out of the paint. But he is as good as anybody in this league."