Feb 12, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks (0) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Number 4: Aaron Brooks
NBA Career Stats:
- 11.2 points per game, 3.3 assists per game, 0.3 steals per game.
As a Rocket:
- 297 games played / 124 games started
- 11.7 points per game, 3.3 assists per game.
- 2010 Most Improved Player (19.6 points per game, 5.3 assists per game and averaging 39.8% three-point percentage and 35.6 minutes played per game)
Aaron Brooks is a diligent, talented point guard. I’m of the opinion that he never truly reached his real full potential in the NBA. After a strong showing in the 2009-2010 season, Brooks deservedly received the Most Improved Player Of the Year award but later an ankle injury and a stint in China saw Brooks going into a downward spiral that many of us still struggle to understand.
In his time as a Rocket, Aaron Brooks was a shoot-first high paced point guard that could explode in any given night and register insane numbers.
My Personal Memory:
Of all players in this list Aaron Brooks is most likely the one I have the fondest memories.
When in 2009, the Rockets got to the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets were wrecked: no Tracy McGrady, no Yao Ming. The team was left to fend for themselves with the likes of Luis Scola, Ron Artest, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks. On the other side of the court was future hall of famer and at his peak form Kobe Bryant with a then beloved Laker center Pau Gasol and head coach Phil Jackson.
No journalist or analyst in his right mind gave the Rockets any chance to get through 5 games without McGrady and Yao. Back in Brazil at this time not all games were televised and there was no League Pass available, so I had to watch it through box scores, online streams and once or twice when ESPN broadcasted it.
Game 6 fortunately was on TV. But even here it was unanimous: the Rockets were fortunate to get to game 6 and the fairytale was bound to end.
Enter Aaron Brooks – Leading the Rockets in a fast transition game, penetrating into their defense and burning the Lakers from the three-point line, Houston managed to win Game 6 and force an unimaginable Game 7 against the future champions of the NBA.
After the game, Brooks had just one thing to say when interviewed and somehow it registered deeply with me: “We still have no chance. We’ll keep playing though”
The Rockets lost that series, but I’ve never been more proud of a team like I was at that moment.
Next: The Old School