Scott Brooks is a master at self-deprecation, often in the form of dad jokes. Though he played 10 years in the NBA and has a championship ring, he likes to joke about how he wasn't good, played no minutes and got dominated by the best players of the era.
Those jokes are funny, of course, because they aren't true. It's not easy to play a decade in the NBA and especially as a point guard standing six feet tall.
And there also seems to be a line with him. He can joke about his career, but be careful joking about it yourself. His friend Mike Breen, a legendary broadcaster, gave us an example of that during a March press conference at Capital One Arena. Breen playfully asked how Brooks would respond to scoring zero points in an NBA game, implying it happened often.
Brooks laughed, then replied: "I was better than you, Breen."
So, it's perhaps no surprise that Brooks will defend the era of basketball he played in. With the ESPN documentary 'Last Dance' set to debut this weekend, NBC Sports Washington caught up with Brooks to discuss a variety of topics including 1990s basketball.
The documentary profiles Michael Jordan, the 90s Chicago Bulls and their reign over the NBA. It has brought to the forefront a years-long internet joke, that Jordan and other stars of yesteryear wouldn't make it today because back then they were going up against 'plumbers and electricians.'
Brooks might be lumped into that category by those snarky online trolls.
"Oh my god. That's funny," he told NBC Sports Washington, with a tone that suggested it may not entirely be funny.
"[Jordan] would dominate any era. I don't know how basketball is going to be played 100 years from now, but he would still dominate it."
Brooks remembers many of his on and off-court interactions with Jordan. He can recall the first time he ever guarded him.
"I remember it almost like it was in slow motion. I said 'I cannot believe I'm guarding Michael Jordan,'" Brooks said.
Brooks said he got that same feeling when he faced up Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. And now looking back, those experiences seem surreal.
"Sometimes I forget that I played against [them]. I know I played against those guys, but sometimes it's like it never even happened. You kind of look at Michael Jordan like he was above everybody else," Brooks said.
Brooks was also around Jordan during an offseason All-Star game at Fresno State hosted by former NBA player and executive Rod Higgins. Brooks not only played with Jordan, he got to see his routine up close.
"It was like a real game, just being behind the scenes and seeing him prepare. The guy just has that laser-like competitive spirit that it's almost intimidating being in the locker room with him," Brooks said. "Only certain players have that feeling when you're around them. He was definitely one of them."
Brooks' basketball career speaks for itself, enough where he doesn't have to pay attention to those who downplay the quality of basketball in the 1990s or diminish what Jordan did to players like him. But there is one person he is looking forward to having watch it: his son, Chance.
Brooks is back home in California living with his wife and two kids and he thinks the documentary will back up a lot of what Brooks has told Chance over the years.
"I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be really interesting for my son to watch it. He has seen highlights and everything and he's heard me talk about Jordan. But he's going to be able to see all these great players talk about him and talk about one of the greatest players ever to play the game. I'm looking forward to it just like everybody else is," Brooks said.
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