Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was not aware the milestone of 500 career wins was approaching, so he was surprised to hear the news after his team beat the Timberwolves on Saturday. He became just the 34th head coach in NBA history and the seventh active head coach to win 500 games.
Brooks, now in his fifth season with the Wizards, shared his thoughts on the accomplishment before Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies.
"It wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t even know. Obviously, I’ve been in the league for a long time. I can just remember, I wanted to accomplish two things when I was a young basketball dreamer like a lot of people do [in their] teenage years was to somehow get into an NBA warmup line and meet Dr. J, my hero," Brooks said, referring to Sixers great Julius Erving.
"I was able to do both of them. Even this year, we won on Dr. J’s birthday. We beat the Lakers on Feb. 22. He was my hero and I’ve been able to accomplish those two things. Not that I’m saying everything else is icing on the cake."
Brooks went on to reflect on those who helped him achieve success in life. He was first an accomplished college player at UC Irvine before making the NBA as an undrafted point guard who played 10 seasons. Later, he became a coach and worked his way up as an assistant.
Brooks was head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder for seven seasons before he left the organization and later joined the Wizards.
"I feel like I’ve done a lot of good things because I’ve had a lot of good people helping me along the way. I’ve been inspired by my mom and my high school coach. Both are no longer with us," he said.
"They’ve been an inspiration to me and getting 500 wins is a big part of their helping me develop as a person, as a player and as a coach. If you didn’t have all the players and coaches I’ve had, you would never get to 500. Hopefully, we can get more. A lot more."