“I can’t believe he played this good once” – Aaron Brooks
(NOTE: This article was first published in August 2014)
Phoenix Suns – Guangdong Southern Tigers (China) – Sacramento Kings – Houston Rockets – Denver Nuggets – Chicago Bulls
This isn’t a list of my favorite teams but a list of teams Brooks Gongfu Tea Cup played for since his MIP “meant to be breakout” season 2009-2010 with the Houston Rockets.
9.6 – 8.0 – 1.4 – 7.0 – 11.9 PPG have been his scoring stats since that MIP season for the NBA teams he played for. Backup PG, Bench Player, Role Player. That’s the story of Aaron Brooks and that probably will be how people remember him after he retires.
Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t hating but as of now he is 29 years old and will be the backup point guard for D.Rose (and maybe behind Hinrich) in the next season and if Rose will stay healthy (let’s please hope so, he’s been through enough) he won’t break out of his bench role. And that is for a reason: His 41% FG career percentage shows his non existent efficiency and his career 3.4 assists average shows him as someone that is more comfortable creating for himself than for others. His defense also hasn’t been his strong suit throughout his career. On the plus, he is a good 3 point shooter (37% for his career), an explosive scorer he has a good dribble penetration and self-starting offense.
BUT: In the 2009-2010 campaign he played way better than what we are used to now, becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to make over 200 3-pointers and over 400 assists in a single season. That season resuted in him being announced the leagues most improved player (MIP) (edging out Kevin Durant, George Hill and Marc Gasol), with season averages of 19.6 PPG and 5.3 AST while starting all 82 games. That was an incredible season that he couldn’t replicate.
He has shown flashes of that season from time to time though. E.g last season with the Nuggets where he put up 11.9 points on 40.6 percent shooting and 5.2 assists in 29 minutes including a pair of 20-point, 15-assist games.
The basketball world might have forgotten how good he can be, but with Thibodeau in Chicago, who knows what’s about to happen. With C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin in the last couple of seasons, it wouldn’t be the first time that a PG in Chicago would exceed expectations. So maybe this story isn’t wrapped up yet and he can surprise everyone with another (or more strong seasons).