The mindset that it takes to be a professional athlete is borderline sociopathic. Even then, some couldn't help but let their overcompetitive juices overflow — and in team sports, they become the kind of players that you loathe if you come up against them or end up loving if you team up with them. One such example of that kind of player is Dillon Brooks, the feisty wing who recently signed a huge contract with the Houston Rockets.
While Brooks' penchant for annoying his opponents confound many and lead them to dislike him with a passion, Andre Iguodala, four-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors, explained just how crucial it is for players like the Rockets wing to bring that kind of mindset in every minute they spend on the court.
“There’s certain guys in the NBA that wouldn’t be in the NBA if they didn’t have that crazy mentality of how they view himself. There's a selfishness with how they view themselves. If Dillon Brooks wasn’t crazy, he wouldn’t be in the NBA,” Iguodala said in an appearance on JJ Redick's podcast, The Old Man and the Three.
“There’s certain guys in the NBA that wouldn’t be in the NBA if they didn’t have that crazy mentality… If Dillon Brooks wasn’t crazy, he wouldn’t be in the NBA.”
– Andre Iguodala
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 20, 2023
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Redick, however, countered that it's not exactly “selfish” for players like Dillon Brooks to act the way they do. Rather, they do it to survive and even thrive in the dog eats dog world that is the NBA. And for Brooks, we can see that it has paid off for him in a big way after he cashed in on a huge contract from the Rockets this past offseason that would pay him around $86 million for the next four seasons.
“Survival of the fittest,” Redick said. “I've got to do certain things to get to the NBA, and I've got to do certain things for me to stick to the NBA. The challenge then as an individual is how I can do those things in a team setting, to help my team win a basketball game or help my team win a championship.”
Dillon Brooks, to his credit, is more than just an instigator. As Andre Iguodala would know during his years with the Warriors, it's that having an elite defender who's not afraid to get down and dirty is very helpful to one's hopes of winning a championship. Brooks merely needs to find the sweet spot between annoyance and helpfulness for him to help the Rockets get out of the NBA's basement.