Perhaps the simplistic, though at times accurate way to view a new head coach is thinking if he did this and that at a previous stop, that plan comes with him. Yet considering Scott Brooks had the unique superstar dynamic of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma City, is it fair to wonder whether we actually know what truly defines a Scott Brooks team?
"That's a fair question," Brooks answered to a small group of reporters in the halls of Verizon Center following his introductory press conference Wednesday.
It's a question the new guy wasn't ready to answer seeing as he'd been on the job for about 24 hours. It's a process he's ready to figure out.
"I'm excited to get to know all of our players first," Brooks said. "[Wizards president] Ernie [Grunfeld] and the staff will get together to add pieces along the way to make this a competitive team.
"We ultimately want to compete for championships. In order to do that, it's a process of going step by step and you can't skip steps. I learned that as a player. I was fortunate enough to be on a championship team in Houston. But I love the group that we have. I can't emphasize that enough. I love the players that we have."
No doubt the coach loved the players he helped groom with the Thunder. Durant and Westbrook emerged as among the elite players in the league. Lengthy forward Serge Ibaka provided a big man element and other key contributors including future NBA Most Valuable Player runner-up James Harden helped as Oklahoma City went from a 23-win team the season before Brooks took the head job to the NBA Finals three years later.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished as a group," Brooks said. "Three conference finals and an NBA Finals, one of the youngest teams in the [league] history to get there."
The focus typically centered on Oklahoma City's potent offensive stars. The Thunder ranked top five in scoring in each of Brooks' last five seasons, yet also were one of the top defensive teams in that stretch. Oklahoma City ranked top 10 four straight seasons in defensive efficiency before injuries hampered the squad in 2014-15, Brooks' final season.
"We've always focused on being a two-way team," he said.
The focus with Washington starts with John Wall. Though a perennial All-Star guard like Westbrook, Wall offers a true pass-first presence while the Thunder standout looks for his own shot more often. That difference of styles will be part of Brooks' planning, as will Bradley Beal's perimeter shooting, Marcin Gortat's rim-to-rim running, Markieff Morris' athleticism, Otto Porter's 3-and-D progress and Kelly Oubre's potential. Then there are the other nine spots still open.
There is work to do and Brooks says he's ready for the challenge. When it's all done, we might see what a Scott Brooks team looks like.
"This team that I have the privileged to coach," he said, "I'm looking forward to get to know the guys and to establish a system that we're successful night in and night out."